When I was growing up, we always had a dog. The dog I remember most was Duchess, a little blonde cocker spaniel, who will always have a special place in my heart.
Duchess was bought with paper route money saved by my brothers and sister. However, shortly after they began driving and dating, they were not as active in her life as they once were. It was then that I had ‘exclusive’ rights to say she was ‘my dog’ because I was the youngest in the family.
We acquired Duchess from a local breeder on Route 40 East. She was AKC registered and I remember the day we picked her up. All the puppies were in wire pens and we selected her to run around the yard. We laughed as she ran and tripped over her feet. She was definitely our choice because of her ‘star qualities’ – a clumsy run along with her little round head and sweet eyes.
Duchess was a little nervous and had one strange quirk, but I called it talent. When I’d wave my hands and arms like a conductor, she’d look up and start snapping her mouth. Her sounds were right in tune with the quickness of my flying arms. I thought she was so talented to do this every time. “Let’s do the conductor,” I’d say. Her little mouth started snapping away. What a talented dog!