Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Birthday in Sixth Grade

I don't think it was my year to have a party. I had one every other year I believe. Dan, stationed in Virginia, kept up the tradition of getting me a pet that he probably would like. He knew someone who raised beagles, hunting beagles. The first one was a sweet brown girl that I named Virginia, but called Ginny. Unfortunately, my mother could not train this puppy. She would not be house broken as she had had generations of outdoor dog in her. Dad set up a pen for her in the bigger shed out back.
I walked her all around town. The teens on the Isaly's wall jeered, "What ya walking?"
I replied, "A beagle." And they mockingly repeated it back to me, "A beagle?"
Ginny and I continued our walk. She behaved for her walks.
About a month later, Dan brought a black and tan boy, that I called Beau for Beauregard. I had just read Gloria Salvoldi's Tennessee Boy. I think the dog in that book was Beau or the boy, I can't remember exactly. A southern moniker for Virginian dog. He was sweet, too, but again, not house trainable. He joined Ginny in the shed.
We kept them all summer, but they were hunting dogs. They needed that kind of exercise, not girly walks with a twelve year old, who had no desire to hunt. I'm not against hunting. Loved all the game Dan brought home growing up, squirrel, rabbit, venison, but I never thought about hunting myself. Dad still felt ill from the accident in the fall, so he wasn't up to hunting. We gave the dogs to a farmer that would take them out in the woods.
The same time I got Ginny, my Siamese cat, HoChi, developed bladder stones. At first, we thought he was mad about the puppy. He'd sit and sit in the yard with his back to us. We realized he was losing weight and luster in his coat. A trip to the vet's revealed the reason. We tried so hard to keep him alive. Ground up liver for him. He would crawl over to the litter box, crying, then lay there. Finally, the vet told us, surgery to remove the stones would help, but we didn't have that kind of money.
My feelings jumbled. I couldn't be mad. I was losing my friend and a year before, we could have afforded the surgery. I couldn't say anything, Dad loved the cat, too. Did he feel guilty or bad? I'm sure he did, but we didn't talk about it. I accepted it. I cried, but I never wanted my parents to think I blamed them. I knew the facts. This was life. HoChi was the best, though.
We loved all our pets. Letting them go is very hard, whether to another owner or to death. As Mom said about her first Scotty, "It seems he could just unzip his coat and a little man would jump out."
Post a Comment