Sunday, March 13, 2011

Katie: My First Scruffy Dog

Katie - 1979
We've been busy going through old boxes...finding things we haven't seen since the past move (or two). Today I ran across this photo of my first dog, Katie.  Katie had all the spark, spunk and sweetness one would expect from a Cairn Terrier.  She was a fierce protector of our home and had a growl that sounded more like a doberman than a 15-pound terrier. Yet she had the patience to put up with me dressing her up in costumes, complete with hats and sunglasses, and stood still while I took pictures (those must be in an album somewhere...)  Katie could "smile" on cue and she had a large repertoire of other tricks which she only performed when she darn well felt like it and/or when you had food to offer. Come to think of it, I never did get her to smile while also being dressed up...

Katie was a natural-born hunter, catching rodents in our yard and dropping them by the back door like a cat. She didn't much care for small dogs, but she was absolutely smitten with the neighbor's gigantic Alaskan Malamute. 

Katie ruled the roost at our house. We doted on her, gave her free run of anything and treated her like a queen. She slept in my bed and managed to take up most of it, despite her diminutive size. When I left to walk to school in the mornings, I would look back and see Katie, sitting on the edge of my bed, peering out the window, watching me go, as my mom stood behind her waving. Katie was always the first to the door to welcome me home in the afternoon (Mom was close behind).

In the summer Katie and I spent many an afternoon playing in the shade of the big elm tree in the back yard.  She helped me through my adolescence and she patiently listened to all of my teenage problems. I have no idea what she thought about all of it, but when she looked straight at me with those shiny, dark brown eyes, I felt like she understood, and somehow I always felt better. 

Katie -- my first dog, my confidant, my friend, you will always hold a special place in my heart!

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