Actually, my very first experience with a dog wasn’t that wonderful. When I was born, my mother and I lived with my grandparents. They had an old Chow named Jackie. Jackie was not used to “little people” having lived all his life with my grandparents. Poor Jackie had to put up with a lot of tail-pulling and ear-jerking from an active toddler (me). They say that 2-year-olds don’t really remember anything, but somehow I can remember certain incidents involving Jackie. I can still see the red coloring and most of all, that big blue tongue. I remember pulling Jackie’s big furry tail and being reprimanded by my Mom. “Leave Jackie alone” she would always tell me. Then one day when I was just under 2 years old, I toddled right over the top of a sleeping Jackie and fell down on him. It startled him so much that he nipped me. It wasn’t really a bite–just a nip that didn’t even break the skin. After that incident, Mom and my grandparents found a new home without kids for Jackie. To this day, I can still remember crying for my big red Jackie. This was also when Mom bought me a little red stuffed dog hoping to console me in some manner. The stuffed toy was named Wilbur. Today, over 70 years later, I still have Wilbur sitting on my dresser.
These are pictures of my mother and Jackie taken long before I was born.
This is me at 6 months of age. Jackie is in the background.
Unfortunately, I don’t recall the cat.
This is Wilbur, my 70+-year-old stuffed dog mentioned above. Wilbur was just never able to replace Jackie, but over the years he became a very important memory of my
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