I was probably about 2 ½ when Mom decided it was time for me to have another dog, a playmate. I remember going to the Humane Society in Detroit with Mom and my grandparents. My grandfather had a 1950 dark blue Ford. I can still remember the car well–right down to the pin-stripped seat covers. I rode in the back seat all the way home holding Skippy, a black lab mix puppy. Skippy became my new best friend, but not for very long before tragedy struck. A few days after Skippy came to live with us, he started to get sick. I can remember going with Grandpa and Grandma to take him to the vet. I can still visualize the vet’s office. He lived in a really large house on top of a hill with a long driveway. At least this is how I remember it. His veterinary practice was based right out of his home. I remember standing there trying to see what was happening on that table. He gave us pills to give to Skippy, but he didn’t get any better. We took him back again a few days later. This time I was told Skippy wouldn’t be going home with us. I remember crying for him all the way home. Years later I found out from my mother that Skippy had distemper. Back then, a dog with distemper was handed a death sentence. There was just no cure for it. I thank God today for all the research that has made an otherwise incurable disease no longer an unhappy ending.
I deeply regret that no pictures were ever taken of Skippy. He was only with us for a few days.
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