Today is day three of my salute to Norman Rockwell, as inspired by our dear blog friend Bert.
The image I chose for today is this one:
When I was a kid we had dogs, (still do but these were not “my” dogs). My grandmother had two, a poodle named Pete, and a little rat-terrier that she called Dolly. Now, both of these dogs were grandma’s “babies” for sure. Pete was your typical poodle, standoffish, regal, and stately. He had an air about him that just said “I am in fact, much better than that”. Dolly on the other hand, was the attention hound. She would wriggle and writhe and shake her whole body in an effort to get attention from anyone who would give it to her. A spunky 8 year old with boundless energy, I was her favorite playtime pal. We would spend hours running about the yard chasing anything that moved, from leaves in the fall to snowflakes in the winter to butterflies in the spring to rabbits in the summer. I don’t think she ever caught anything – at least nothing that was alive.
Dolly’s most impressive talent however was her intense hatred of the word “Kennedy”. Somehow, she had come by this hatred through my grandma. See, this was the year that Teddy Kennedy was running for election. My grandma did not like Mr. Kennedy – not one bit and she shared that information with anyone in hearing distance any time the man was on television. Now, Dolly was a smart little dog who loved to sing. She would throw her little head back and howl anytime grandma turned the television to Hee Haw or Lawrence Welk – especially if there were banjos – oh how she loved to sing to the banjos.
My grandma thinking this was the cutest thing ever, decided that she was going teach Dolly to express her dislike of Mr. Kennedy as well… She would sit for hours and sing “Kennedyyyyyyyyy” and Dolly would howl along. After a while it got to the point that every time Dan Rather or Walter Cronkite (only two newsmen alive that were worth a darn to here grandma tell it) would say “Kennedy” Dolly would throw her head back and howl. Much to my grandfather’s dismay. There wasn’t a peaceful newscast in our house until the Tedmeister lost that election. Not a single one. Granddad missed nearly a year of six o’clock news because of that silly little dog. And grandma? She’d just throw her head back and howl right along with her; then laugh uproariously.
Grandma and Dolly are both gone now, and I long for the days of Dolly’s sing a longs! How about you? Did you have a quirky pet that did something so silly, talented, or funny that you just couldn’t get enough of it?
Stay tuned! Tomorrow will be Day 4 of my Norman Rockwell series entitled – The Wild Child