Her name was Belle. She was a black Cocker Spaniel. I asked that her tail not be cut when she was a tiny puppy, so she had a nice long feathery tail. I was a very young boy. She was my only companion for many hours in an empty house as I listened to Captain Midnight and other radio programs for children.
But her big love was when we went for long walks, or so they seemed to me. At the end of each walk there was a challenge. We would run across the railroad tracks not using the crossing. She took her leash in her mouth so she wouldn't trip. We ran as fast as we could. No reason, just for the fun of it.
She never faltered. Her little legs skipped over the tracks as if they were hurdles. Then there was a reward--lots of praise, hugs and kisses--for a "good job!".
One day our phone rang. My Dad mainly listened. "Son, we're going to give your dog away." A neighbor was complaining that her dog watched Belle, got excited and ripped her curtains. We couldn't have that. So I lost my friend Belle.
I saw her once again, a few years after she was taken away. She was in another room and heard my voice. She did not bark--she screamed, a piercing cry. I hugged her once before we had to go. I never saw her again.
Events shape our lives like a hammer on hot metal. As an old man, her memory still makes me cry. What did this hammer blow do for me? I learned that life isn't fair. Often your deep emotions are brushed away as if they did not stab your heart. You don't really matter.
And please don't talk about window treatments to me.