Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chapter 78 Dog and Butterfly

The kids had been after me for some time for a dog. A friend of ours, Joe Dean, was a hunter and had bird dogs. He raised Pointers and had one that was not going to make it as a bird dog. She was the runt of the litter and when Joe took his dogs out to train them she would scramble under the truck the first time he fired a shot. She would hide under there and refused to come out. He wanted to get rid of her so we took the kids over to see her. They just had to have her so she became our family dog. They named her Duchess and she was a member of the family for the next fifteen years. 

I built a doghouse and cut a hole in the north wall of the garage and put her dog house inside the garage. She had the run of a fenced in area back of the garage. Despite this great set up, she eventually became a house dog.  Duchess was a great pet for the kids but not what you would call a fearless defender of the rest of us or our property. I often commented that she was the only dog I had ever met that had a hollow space where her brain was supposed to be. The kids would hang strips of material from limbs of one of the trees and she would jump up and hang on the strips. What was she thinking? However, she was a great pet for Chip, Tom and Sus and they all spent many an hour playing with her.

One funny story about Dutch many years later after all the kids had gone off to college Charlotte and I were sitting on the back porch one evening after work and the dogs (we had several at that time) were running around and playing in the back yard. Dutch came up and sat on the porch next to me and I said, “Dutch what do you have in your mouth?”  She was holding her mouth kind of funny and I did not know if she had been hurt or what. When I said that she began wagging her tail and opened her mouth and a big butterfly just flew out and disappeared around the corner of the house. We had a great laugh at that, I don’t know how long she had been carrying that darn butterfly in her mouth but I bet he was glad to get out of there. She may not have been a great hunting dog, but she surely had a soft mouth.

In 1964 Charlotte decided she wanted to earn some dough on her own. She began selling World Books, a popular encyclopedia set, and also worked part time at Montgomery Wards. I don’t know which job was more draining but she gave both of them a try over a couple of years.

We bought a larger two-story home at 3261 Camelot in Sparkman Club Estates and rented out the Ainsworth house. Ainsworth was our first rent house and it stayed rented for many years until we sold it to the renter in 1973. The Camelot house had two bedrooms and a big bath upstairs and the boys laid claim to those. We had the master and another bedroom downstairs so Susan had her own bedroom. The den was directly below the boy’s domain and every once in a while they would get to tussling and it would sound like a couple of bears were wrestling and rolling around on the floor. I don’t know how many times Charlotte would go to the foot of the stairs and holler, “Boys settle down, quit banging on the floor.” We also had a sort of breezeway room between the kitchen and the garage so Duchess had her private room as well.

The bus stopped at our corner where we lived and I could get off across the street from my office in downtown at 308 S. Akard St. The return trip in the evening was just as easy and convenient. I decided I would give it a try and rode the bus for about a year.

Photo of pointer pup found here.   

Photo of Dallas city bus circa 1963 found here

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