Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Just thinking

Today I was just thinking about Runnemede and being young and some of the good times about which I've written over the past year.

And I was just thinking about my children and the house in which they grew up.

And I was just thinking that maybe they remember things I don't about their growing up years.

And I realized that it must be so, because I remember so little of what occurred in those years.

I woke up the other morning and panicked because I hadn't fed the dog (Tigger). Now, folks, Tigger has been dead at least 20 years, so why would I recall that dog, which I really didn't like anyway, and panic because I hadn't fed her? (Yes our dog Tigger was a she.)

Let me explain about Tigger before I go any further. We got Tigger from a pet store for a very small price. Tigger was part cocker and part dacschund -- she was a cocker-shund. We think she was abused as a really small pup because any fire-crackers, gun-shot sounds, thunder would cause her to cringe and try to hide. And she would wimper until someone tucked her in their lap and comforted her. She also had a thing about hot-air balloons. We would hear her barking and knew there was one (or more) hot-air baloon approaching the house. She could hear it before we could see it. Amazing.

Tigger was a she. And she was named Tigger because the day after we got her and the children saw her -- it was around Christmas time and there was snow on the ground -- when I put her out the first thing that morning, she hopped, just like Tigger, from place to place until she found her "spot." So, the children and I thought that Tigger was a good name for that dog. Tigger was a Christmas gift to the children in 1975 -- our first Christmas in Cincinnati.

So, I wonder how much the children remember about that dog, and I was just thinking about why I should recall her so vividly to my mind that morning not long ago. That dog was the bane of my existence for 14 years. She had a mind of her own. She was not an obedient dog a lot of the time and that so frustrated me.

Oh, she was obedient in that she never entered the kitchen. She was obedient in that she waited until her plate was filled and I gave her the signal to eat, but she just wouldn't come when she was called. And if she got out the front door -- which she did frequently because she was so fast -- I had to chase her down.

She didn't like children hanging on her and bit several young children who were just trying to be affectionate. But she never did that with our children who were 3, 4, and 6 when we got her.

I always thought that if I could harness the power in her wagging tail, I could get my house cleaned better than one of those little robots they sell now.

Tigger brought me presents from time to time. She was a moler. And she would dig out our moles and bring them to me in her mouth and drop them at my feet. Yuck! But, I did tell her "Good Dog" when she did that. Our neighbors liked to use her to ferret out their moles as well.

We had a fenced back yard, but she would tenaciously dig her way out and then, frustrating me again, she'd be wandering the neighborhood and I would have to try to get her in.

I think finally, I just let her go praying that the SPCA would pick her up and take her to their facilities and find another home for her.

Unfortunately, my daughter, Cyndi, loved that dog. And when it was time to put the dog out of her old-age miseries, we all cried. One year later, on the anniversary of Tigger's death, she reminded me that this was the date on which I killed Tigger. I guess that says it all.

Anyway, I was just thinking....

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