It was the evening of Feb. 7, 1959. Dad took me and my two brothers for a ride in the car. I don’t remember the pretext or where we went. I just remember when we got home, Mom was sitting in the living room and a dog was sitting in front of her.
Lady was a good dog – a medium-sized, brown and white mutt with maybe a beagle’s face but a stub of a tail. She ran like the wind playing keep-away with a dishpan of all things. For most of the next 10 years she was an integral part of the family, joined eventually by a succession of cats.
There was only the one dog while we were growing up, but the three boys became men and keepers of other dogs.
When I write and share photos of our lovely companions, Willow The Best Dog There Is™ and Dejah Thoris, Princess of Mars, I sometimes remember Lady, the patient and loving canine who introduced my family to the joy of dogs.
Three dogs through the years have especially seized my heart – Poppins, the little collie mix who appeared, abandoned, at the door of the radio station one summer day; Tucker, the undersized German shepherd who arrived in my arms (hands, really) as a tiny puppy; and Willow, who melts my heart daily (Yes, Dejah, you’re a special dog, too, but Willow got there first).
It all began with Lady, though, whose coming was so momentous that it’s the first event in my lifetime to which I ever affixed the exact date.