Images, sounds, smells...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Images, sounds, smells...

...I'm at an age when all manner of unanticipated things evoke a brief flash of memory, an association of something usually from the distant past.

What did it this week was an awwwwwwwwwwww-inspiring E-mail, forwarded by my wife, with 23 photos of infants and toddlers in the company of dogs that's currently making the rounds at the speed of the Internet:

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Summer 1960 I lent Andy Vennard $2.00 drinking money... this was when draught beer was 15¢ a glass at Jack Lyons' Merrick Inn... then gave him a ride home to East Quogue from the beach the next day.

When we got there he asked "Want a dog?"

He had a brother-sister pair o'mutts he'd acquired some­where, and the female, a salt-and-pepper terrier named "Lizzie," and I hit it off immediately.

Telling Andy to forget that $2.00, I took her home and that started a terrific 11-year relationship... we went every­where and did everything together.

She spent a week with me at college the next Spring se­mester where she became a mild campus sensation by, when asked "What do the girls at Adelphi do?," rolling over with all four legs in the air.

We went sailing in the SS together, too, though one mem­orable early morning excursion to the Bellport Labor Day regatta, as we were rounding Moriches Point, Lizzie thought the voyage a little too rough and abandoned ship to make for dryer land. I had to drive back and retrieve her from the Coast Guard Station several hours later.

Infant Peggy

But the memory that photo triggered was in March 1966 when we brought three-day-old Peggy home from the hospital. My mother had cautioned about potential jealousy on the part of Lizzie:

"She's been with you for six years now, and there's never been anything that little in the house before... keep an eye on her around the baby."

(That was my Mom... cautionary to a fault: "Why, something like that happened just last week....")

Lizzie was mildly interested and not a bit alarmed when we carried Li'l Peg in the door, but showed her true colors two hours later when Peg (for whom she was named) and Steve Griffing came from next door for a first visit.

When we entered the nursery, Lizzie quietly and unobtru­sively positioned herself beneath the bassinet between Li'l Peg and any harm which might have come her way.

That was Lizzie and Pegs from there on out... instinctively she knew the baby was important and not a threat, and was always a wonderful and protective companion to her.

Never wonder why we're "dog people."

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