Yesterday I talked about Mac the first dog I truly recall missing when he left us. Mac was the dog our parents got my sister and I because my parents loved dogs, and at that time my sister and I had been sans dog for a few years (we moved from Chicago where we had Anna, to Indiana and lived in student housing for a few years, so no dog). Actually I think it bothered my parents more that both my sister and I were scared of dogs. So Mac came into our lives. For 3 short years he changed everything.
Our next dog was a family project. We researched a dog that would be the right kind of dog to add to our family. Mac passed away shortly after my baby sister was born (I think – its fuzzy now because of the passage of time). We in researching dogs decided that we wanted to get a Newfoundland. Not that we were going to go exploring and find a new land but that we wanted the dog – it seemed the perfect fit for where we wanted to be.
Phoebe Kuma (we had friends of Japanese descent – Kuma is Japanese for black bear that frankly Newf’s look like) joined our family in the summer of 1970 or 1971 I don’t recall now. She changed everything. What I imagine a dog to be comes from Phoebe. She was an amazing dog and even though we left her in the care of the people who rented our house when we were in Thailand – she jumped back into our family with all four (huge) feet.
Interestingly Phoebe and my mother had a love hate relationship. I suspect deep inside there was a high level of mutual respect there. I remember so many things that dog did over the years I am not sure where to start. Instead today I would like to list all the dogs that have shared my life with me (and my families) making the days brighter and the walk less onerous and lonely.
Dogs I’ve lived with:
- Anna Banana
- Phoebe Kuma
- Frostella (Frosty)
We had a penchant for naming dogs strange names and for that matter the many nicknames often stuck better than the chosen name. Each of the characters on that list remind me of something crazy and something wonderful.