Let us for a moment exalt in some formal naval gazing. Looking inward past the scars of time and memories that roll around inside of us like loose bowling balls that we can’t dodge, striking us over and over with things we didn’t do, things we should have done and memories we can no longer place. Rather for a moment let us move past what was unpleasant to that which was pleasant, happy memories linked to long ago.
I remember listening to a record of Scottish stories and from that record becoming enamored with the name Macgregor. In the car heading to pick up our new dog the conversation rolled around in the car for awhile and then my parents asked me to name the dog. “Macgregor” was my response the scotch name rolling off my lips and into the car like a unexploded bomb.
It was a grand name for a dog we all decided. At least that is my memory now rusted and tarnished in the corner of my mind. I don’t often bring out memories of that second dog in my life. I vaguely remember, mostly from pictures and one night as a three year old calling her into my room, our first family dog a Dachshund named Anna Banana. I do recall Anna running down the hallway to my bedroom that night and my mother catching up to her as she made it to the side of my bed. But I have no other memories of her as she passed through the gauze of my childhood to go where unremembered dogs end up. But Macgregor I recall.
He was a grand dog. A collie, and I don’t often drag his memory out of the deep recess in my brain where I store them. It makes me cry. I don’t mean a manly tear in the eye that goes away with a blink. It is full on tears that won’t stop. Mac was a dog of infinite heart who loved my father as much as I did (and still do). I have memories of him that are like movies, complete with sound and fury that play out in my mind sometimes. I remember building a snowman in the field that represented the park our subdivision had. There were tennis courts and basketball courts at one end and a long field at the other. That park would feature over and over again in my childhood but this memory involves my little sister, my dad, Mac and I building a snowman. For whatever reason (as dad’s will do, for I do the same thing to my kids) my dad threw a snowball at me (or perhaps I threw one at my little sister first who knows it was nearly 43 years ago now) I responded to the snowball by launching one of my own and Mac launched himself at my dad defending the honor of the clan and attacking the marauding Dane in our midst. I cannot now 43 years later tell you what happened next, just that moment wrapped around a Collie, my little sister and my dad. It is a memory that has stuck.
My first dog…
From the desk of Sandler Boggs.