Reading, Teaching, Learning

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Slice of Life Challenge - Day 4 - Lady, my Childhood Dog

  
THANK YOU, Slicers, for such a warm welcome to SOLSC!!
  
In case this is your first time reading my slices, here is my focus for the challenge: my fifth graders and I are going to participate in the Slice of Life Challenge this month, and they're writing memoirs.  I thought I'd do the same kind of writing - memory writing - throughout the challenge.  My new writing idea/goal is to write an early chapter book series based around a character very much like me, so remembering my childhood stories is very important for that project.  I'm going to be writing around photographs and memorabilia.  Day 4:
 
 
 
This is my mom (looking like a movie star) and me with Lady, my favorite childhood dog.  We are at the Mason Heritage Festival, and Lady had won a blue ribbon for "Shortest Tail."  I love the yawn we captured, looking very much like a proud laugh.  I also love our outfits - the red, white, and blue, and my pinafore/overall shorts outfit.  My poofy hair.  Lady was a Brittany Spaniel with a lot of energy and love.  She was bought and trained to be a bird hunting dog, but wasn't always the epitome of a trained dog.  In fact, I remember my dad wearing a badge on his hunting jacket that said, "Always hunt with a trained dog," while he yelled, "LADY!  Come back!"
 
Lady LOVED mice!  When I would feed the animals from the feed sack in the barn, occasionally a mouse would scurry up my arm and out the bag, startling me, but delighting Lady.  She'd go after that mouse at full speed and gobble it up.
 
 
She was a great companion, becoming docile and sweet as she got older, following me around wherever I went.  I was there after school when she took her final breaths; I had gathered her up in my lap, knowing the end was coming, amazed and horrified as I witnessed her last sigh, breathed full and slow.  I couldn't believe I had been holding a live creature one minute, blood coursing through her veins, her body warm, and then I was holding a shell, clearly devoid of spirit and heart.  I cried and cried.  Both Mom and Dad were at work, so I had to figure out what to do.  I carried her (I didn't know how heavy and ungainly a body became after death) awkwardly and carefully out to the garage and sobbed until they got home.  She was buried in our back yard, along with many other of our departed, but not forgotten, pets, a quiet and heartfelt eulogy whispered.  It's a miracle how pets can weave into our lives, another family member to be loved and grieved.
 

10 comments:

  1. Lady is adorable. And I love that she loved mice. We have a few that have found their way into our house. I wish my dog would decide she loved them. :)

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    1. Ha - it was such a quirky thing for a dog, I thought!

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  2. Such a sweet, loving memory. Love the pictures. You were such a cutie!

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    1. Aw, thanks. :-) I think I looked slightly ridiculous. ;-)

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  3. I remember losing one of our many dogs when I was young, and having to wait until the grown ups returned to do what needed to be done. You captured Lady so well, Holly - and I love that you called attention to that yawn - that's a happy doggy.

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    1. Thanks, Tara. Wow - you went through that, too?! So hard. :-(

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  4. This brought tears to my eyes.....just the thought of you carrying Lady to the garage. How heartbreaking. But the pictures bring her to life when she was full of energy and love. The love of a pet is to be treasured as it is the unconditional love that oozes from them. I like that you are writing family stories....that is what I am trying to do. Thanks for sharing a lovely memory. Jackie http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

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    1. Jackie - I love your blog! Yes, the end of Lady's life was so sad, but she was a lively one in her prime! :-) Thank you for reading.

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  5. I love how you are using memoir throughout this challenge! Childhood pets make such great stories of love, companionship and yes, loss. I can't believe how much you look like your mom! All of you have such beautiful hair...and I know that has nothing to do with writing but had to mention it!

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    1. Ha! Thanks, Leigh Anne - it was a battle when I was young, but thank God for product - I think I've figured it out. ;-)

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