We tried to enjoy a family dog, when we had small children, but discovered they weren’t interested in caring for EP, our Easter puppy (the children named him), or even playing with him. EP was the first dog we ever had as a family. He was a lot of work – potty training and all. When I glanced out the kitchen window and saw Scott chasing him with a raised shovel, I though it best to remove him from our home. Taking EP to a shelter was a gut-wrenching decision on my part, because I had had a Springer Spaniel as a kid, and Bea (I named her) was my very best friend, my comfort when I sat alone in my room petting her.
One night, Bea took a liking to my Dad’s high top leather working boots, and she ate one of them completely down to the ankles. As far as I know, she didn’t get sick, but my Dad kicked her in the butt, and shoved her out into the back yard. Another time when she got into trouble, Dad picked her up and said, “That’s it. You’re out the door, never to come back.” He shoved her into the back seat of the car and drove off. I was devastated. As a needy nine-year-old it seemed as though my world had come crushing down on me – Bea was my only friend at the time. Through my tears and sobs, I asked my Mom where he was taking her. “I don’t know, Carol,” she answered.
That night at dinner, I could hardly eat, because my lips quivered as I tried to hold back my tears. Dad said, “Don’t be such a cry baby.” Still, I could not quit crying. It didn’t matter how hard I tried, I cried throughout the meal. Just as we were finishing dinner, my Dad looked at me and said, “Let’s go find Bea.” I was elated. It took a long time to find her. Several hours had passed. Dad had thrown her out of the car into the wilderness surrounding Los Alamos, New Mexico, where my Dad worked with non-ferrous metals. Once she was in my lap, licking my face, I cried from happiness. Dad said, “Don’t be such a cry baby.” My dog, Bea, saw me through some tough times.
I couldn’t understand why our children weren’t in love with EP the way I was in love with Bea. Looking back, I realized they felt more comfortable around humans than I did at their ages. They could play with human friends for hours on end, without any help from a troublesome dog.
I just can’t imagine coming home and not being greeted by a dog!