Saturday, April 11, 2015

HAWMC 4/11/15 Pet Pal.

I mentioned my dog some posts back, (OK, actually my sister's dog, but my sister was 17 when we finally brought the dog home and Barb was already her partying self, so Cookie moved on to me) and you can check that out.  But this is the one where we are supposed talk about pet pals, so I will note two others, no longer with us, that made me smile and still do.

Summer afternoon 1972.  It was pouring outside and I was just sitting at our dining room table, the one used for Thanksgiving and Christmas, putting a model car together ("Don't get any glue on the table!").  The transistor radio was playing the Top 40 songs.  My father had just left for the night shift, and my mother would be home in two hours from her job, so it was me, Cookie, and this:


The above bird is a budgie.  My grandmother had one for many years, and when Grandma died, we got the budgie.  We fed it, cleaned it, and let it do its thing in the cage, and occasionally opened the cage door and let it fly around the house.  The budgie, called Chico, found my father's bald head a nice resting place.  Cookie would track Chico around the house, but aside from a bark and a lot of sniffing at the budgie by the dog, no violence ever happened.  One day, though, I came home from school and, after dropping my bookbag, hunted around the house for Cookie.  Especially when I saw the cage was open and no bird around. Twenty minutes later, the bird was found, intact and chattering under the dining room (used at Thanksgiving and Christmas only) table.  Cookie was in the midst of her afternoon nap, and whatever had happened between dog and bird that day will never be known.

So it was this feeling of Nixon era detente that came over me at that moment and I can clearly remember telling myself what a great moment it was, that I should remember it. And I do.  Memories fade from me now.  But that one was, and remains,  as clear as glass.

And so is this one...

My wife's family had a farm (e-i-e-i-oh) and on this farm they had a dog. Her name was Lily.  She looked like this:


Golden Retriever.  Away from the farmhouse, and on the expansive acres around, Lily could have a field day running, well, around the field.  One Sunday in September, in the morning I was sitting on the outside couch (its a farm thing) such as this:



Breakfast was over and I was taking in the bright sun and blue skies. Lily would leap over the couch, over the wooden fence and into the tall grass. Running and running, tongue flapping like a pink rag out the side of her mouth. Now and then she'd run back and try to grab a coat sleeve or pant leg because she wanted to show me something.  This was anything from bones (animal) to something I had no comprehension what she was barking and huffing about.  We'd end up back at the couch until we did it all again.

They are gone now. The table, the couch, the animals.  But they are right here in my head, and as MS plays its tricks with my brain, some parts refuse to leave me, but console me.  They are my friends still, and I can be there with them anytime.  It's the brain, people. Use it. Bipolar, MS, whatever your challenge, the brain needs to be stimulated.  You live there, too.



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