CHRISTY AND TIFFANY,
(AUGUST 11, 2010) When I was about 9 or 10, a neighborhood kid, named Johnny, had just returned from an "education" at a special school in Pruntytown, W.Va. The "school" was for children who had difficulty adjusting "socially"; you know, those who tended to go into neighbors' houses and take things or those who tended to beat up kids in the neighborhood. Johnny was, in fact, the neighborhood bully, but he was also our paper boy. There was a story going around that Johnny's mother had leashed him up to a clothesline for punishment, but I never knew if that were true or not. There were also stories about him abusing cats and dogs. Again, these were stories unconfirmed, but they made Johnny out to be more evil.
Speaking of cats and dogs, while I was growing up, we seemed to always have CATS! No dogs, just cats.
There was Brownie (the male cat that turned out to be a female when she had kittens), Precious (my sister's own cat), and Stupid (the cat that often took flight off the TV into the venetian blinds whenever she saw a bird outside the window).
FINALLY, and I don't even remember how it happened, we got a DOG. It was a "fice," so I was told. An online dictionary defines "fice" as: "a nervous belligerent little mongrel dog."
Trigger, my dog named after Roy Rogers' horse, never seemed belligerent, though he was nervous and definitely a mixed breed. He was about the size of Tiffany's Indie, and about the same temperament.
Trigger was not a "house dog," something that I regret today. He stayed in a dog house outside and was tied to a short leash. I also regret that I didn't walk him as much as I should.
But, Trigger was my first dog, and I loved him. He was smiling when I went to take him food and water, and loved to take the walks we seldom took in the neighborhood. I was, at that age, busy with baseball, friends, and doing other things. Trigger was my dog, but I really wasn't a very good master. Perhaps that is why I over compensate with Sadie, walking her, often, twice a day at the park and showing her the love I failed to give Trigger.
One spring morning, before getting out of bed to dress for school, my mother came in and said that she had some bad news. I looked up with my head still on the pillow. She had Trigger's collar in her hand and said, "Trigger got hit by a car on Valley Drive this morning. He got off his leash, and Johnny, the paper boy, found him. Trigger is dead."
I said nothing and took the leash from my mother's hand, held the leash next to me, and cried. Later, I discovered that I wasn't the only one who had cried that morning. My mother told me that Johnny, the paper boy, when he had given her the leash. had tears streaming down his cheeks.
For a few days, a week, a month, several months, I don't remember how long, I slept with Trigger's leash under my pillow.
Trigger gave me memories of my first dog, and Johnny never was unkind to me - in fact, after that morning, Johnny became a friend. Perhaps both were just a little nervous and misunderstood.