Friday, November 16, 2012

Every Dog Has a Story

Sadly we had to say good bye to Goldy this week. She was by far and away the most unusual dog we ever had. But even thoughshe kept to herself, we loved her just the way she was. She appears in the crochet mysteries as Blondie, which was the name she came from the shelter with. I still keep thinking I hear her coming across the house and start to get up to let her out.

As I was thinking about Goldy, I thought about the other dog who appears in my books. He’s based on a dog we had, too, though Cosmo wasn’t really his name. Just like Goldy, he came with a story. In fact, every pet we’ve had has come with a story.

It all started on a cold November night in 1992. I’d gone out to get the mail and a woman was walking by in the street and said that a little black dog was running loose. She tried to catch him and then gave up.

I tried to approach him, but every time I walked toward him, he started to bark and run in the street. Finally, I set out food and a blanket on my front porch, hoping he find it.

The next day, the food was untouched and the little dog had taken up residence on my neighbor who hates dog’s front porch. Still when I tried to approach him, the dog seemed ready to run in the street.
I set out bowls of food in the front yard and come where he was welcome. Then later in the day, several very well dressed people walked by and I saw the little black dog following them.

“You found your dog,” I said happily. But one of them shook her head and said he wasn’t theirs, that they had just feed him a hot dog and he’d started to follow them. I showed off the bowl of food I’d left for him and one of the women walked up my driveway with the little dog following her.

She had a European accent and was wearing a knit suit and heels. Even so, she knelt down on the grass next to the bowl of food I’d left out and plucked out a slug that had wandered into it. The little black dog came with her and finally saw the food. She left and he stayed.

He was so adorable - a black mop with both ends looking about the same - I was sure he must have gotten lost. I posted signs all over. We didn’t name him, but called him That Little Black Dog. One day I saw a kid on a bicycle looking at one of my signs. I was sure this was it, and I was going to get a call about the dog. I got ready to say good bye to him and waited. And waited. But no call came.

The poor little guy was hysterical about being left and at first I had to take him in the car with me. But then I noticed that he got really upset in the car at night and I began to think that someone must have pushed him out of a car that night I first saw him. So, even though we had two other dogs already, we invited him to join the family. We shortened his name to Blackie and he lived with us for the rest of his life.

It’s nice to be able to have both dogs live on in my books.


Linda O. Johnston said...

Oh, Betty, I'm so sorry to hear about Goldy. My condolences. All dogs in our lives come with stories, but yours are certainly special ones.

Betty Hechtman said...

Thanks for the kind thoughts, Linda. I find it so fasacinating how each dog really has their own personality.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

I'm so sorry, Betty.

Monica Ferris said...

The cat in my books is real, even her name, Sophie, is real. And her fat, placid, lazy personality. I've been blessed to have numerous cats and dogs that were very special in my life. I think every animal living in the care of humans has a story, some sadder than others. Someone somewhere has a sig line on her e-mails that notes that dogs don't live as long as humans - "Their only fault, really." So true.

Betty Hechtman said...

Joanna, thank you. I know you are a dog lover, too.

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, how nice that Sophie gets to be in your books.

Planner said...

I'm very sorry for your loss, Betty.

Thank you for sharing Goldy and Blackie with your readers. How did you choose Cosmo as Blackie's name in your books? It's a great name.

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, Cosmo was the name of one of my son's girlfriend's dogs. I just loved the name.

fati said...

It was dog food. Beef livers with onions in a can. You open it up and it looks like vomit.