One of my dad’s maternal cousins in Pepperell, Massachusetts, raised Norwegian Elkhounds and gifted our family with Eric. Eric was a marvelous dog and our family loved him dearly… so did many of our neighbors. We lived in a small New Hampshire village about two long blocks from the village hub. Eric was very clever! Every morning (except Sunday – back then stores were never open on Sunday) Eric would trot down to the back entrance of Bemis’ IGA where Mr. Boulay, the butcher, would give him a bone. A neighbor, Mrs. Selkirk loved Eric so well that at least once a week she make him a very special stew. On many occasions, Mrs. Hubbard would call to see if Eric could spend the night because he looked so comfy and peaceful in front of the fire place. As I recall he was just a loving dog — no special tricks. When he passed at a fine old age, Mr. Selkirk asked if he couldn’t please be buried under her clothesline. My parents obliged with the consent of my brothers and I.
Its a wonder that our family had any cats or dogs. Mom disliked dogs and Dad despised cats. None-the-less we did have a couple of more dogs and one very special cat we called tippy-tip-toes. Tippy loved to play the piano when guests dropped by. Another of her favorite antics was to hide behind a piece of furniture and attack our little brother when he walked by.
Buster Beagle was an interesting dog given to the family by Pippy Baldisaro. Buster was grown when we got him. Dad, who liked to tinker with carpentry, made Buster a wonderful dog house complete with shingled roof and wood siding painted to match the siding of our home. Buster didn’t realize that a dog house was to sleep in or to be used to escape the elements, he thought it was something to munch on. Buster caught distemper, at the time it was rather rare for a dog to survive the disease. A vet prescribed some medication and Buster was allowed to have his sick bed in the kitchen. We nursed him carefully and were well rewarded when Buster made a recovery. Mom discovered the great event when she went into the kitchen and found that Buster and chewed a large area of linoleum from around one of the registers. Buster survived distemper but did not survive the wrath of our mother – so-to-speak. Dad took Buster back to Mr. Baldisaro that very day.
(c) 2011 Linda Woodward Geiger, All Rights Reserved.