Sunday, March 20, 2011

Animals in Our Past

David and Debbie Kudla
Through the kindness and painstaking investment in time of my brother, David, part of my (not forgotten) past has come to life again through digital scanning. David holds a degree in Botany from the University of Delaware from years ago, but more recently he retooled in computer science. I'm very glad he went the tech route, because he has recaptured our collective memories in images. Sadly, not all of our loved ones are still with us, making the images all the more precious.

It is my intention to group the images and share them, so we have them a family album with a narrative. Unfortunately, I cannot even date most of these images, so I am hoping that the people in them (or my brother, whose memory is razor sharp) can help me with comments that will complete the storytelling on a time line. Then, I'll re-edit the sequence and create a family movie.

Donns, Randy, RJ &; Miss Emmie ~ how young we were!
The closest I can come to a date is a generalization, the 90s, because Miss Emmie never made it to the farm. Fortunately, the rest of us did.

Merlin was totally my cat. No one else could get near him.
For the time he was in my life, Merlin was my soul mate, as cats so often can be. I rescued him from the horse barn where he wandered in one day. The barn folks called him Pencil, because he was so deathly thin. He took to me from the start, and it wasn't long before I asked Mickey if we could adopt him. We did, and somehow I think it was before we were married, but I could be wrong. Merlin was magical and different. He loved being outdoors, took walks with me, but was famous for his love of the long rides we so frequently took. We put food and water and a litter box in the van and off we went. Merlin was a dashboard ornament; he sunned there or claimed another seat of choice. Never a problem, but one day when someone was working on the city house, doors were left open and Merlin left, never to return. I saw him once, a day later, but then never again. Later we learned from a neighbor he had died. But for the wonderful years he shared with us, I am always grateful for his presence in my life.

Miss Emmie's Therapy Dog License Photo
Miss Emmie was our best dog ever. Likely she will hold that title for the rest of my life, because I cannot imagine any other pet coming close. Not to say I do not love or have not fancied our other dogs, past or present. Just none of them were ever quite the legend that Miss Emmie created in our lives.

The love of our life and Best in Show
What made her so special? Timing, partly. She came at a time when we wanted a visible deterrent, a strong presence of protection. She was that and more. Pure instincts of a German Shepherd Dog. She was the most intelligent, easily trained canine. Stay meant stay, and twice I had inadvertently left her, once at the beauty parlor and another time at the landscaper, but she stayed. She was trained in an obscure language as a protection dog for walking and running with me as I trained for half-marathons, and she was trained in hand signals for distance commands. She was a ringer of a tracker, and would have made a great search-and-rescue dog, if I could have made the sacrifice. She did not like children, and she was always a dog with whom you needed an introduction and my watchful eye; nonetheless, she was our Best in Show, still first in our hearts (yes, I love you Allie, but Emmie you're not).

Beloved Ono, my brother David's dog
 Ono was my brother's dog, but if I didn't know better, he could have been the image of two of my Welsh Terriers. I'm guessing this dog was in our lives in the late 60s and/or early 70s, our vintage Welsh Terrier years. I'm so glad I had this breed of antical, high-energy dogs in my life when I was younger, because despite Allie's (our current dog, black Lab puppy) energy, the Welshies had it over any other dog I've known, including Blue Heelers.

I'm sending a special thank you to you, David, for the infinite care you took in making our memories live forever. Much love and gratitude.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post. Perhaps you should not have used a last name w/o permission. I will talk to D.K. tomorrow about it. She is aware of the picture, and how I love it.
    More importantly, you have mislabeled Donna B. as "Debbie."
    I have the dates of all these pictures; just ask.