44 years tonight, I got a little puppy who made my childhood a dream.
She was a black Labrador I named Lady.
I wish I had pictures of her in my computer, but I don’t, so all I can tell you is that she was a black Lab, but we had so much fun together and got into so much trouble through the years that we had a hell of a lot of fun.
She even stood in line for her spanking, as she figured that she was in as much trouble as I was-that’s loyalty.
If only humans who considered themselves ladies had that kind of loyalty, but I digress.
Lady knew how to pull me in my blue Radio Flyer wagon and she was usually quiet.
She took my heavy metal career well, as she didn’t mind the ear-shattering volume. She knew the boys and I were just being fucking idiots.
She lost a portion of her tail early in life because the door of the 1963 Chevy II Nova was slammed on it, and it couldn’t be reattached.
She had this little white spot on her chest which she wore like a deputy badge and she loved to run in the backyard. I would sneak food to her when I was little, so she always sat right by my chair at the dinner table.
My parents and I would sometimes take her to my grandparents’ house in Van Nuys, California, where my mother’s dogs,Ooshpa and Blackie were. Ooshpa was a black and gold hound of some sort and Blackie just seemed to be a dinner roll with legs, but they all loved each other. Ooshpa was the big brother of the three. Lady and Blackie couldn’t believe how he could climb up ladders and walk on the roof with my grandfather-and then get himself back down.
Lady raised another puppy we brought home in 1984, named Tags, a German Shepherd/Husky mix and she reprimanded her like any mother would. By the way, she also taught Tags to sit near me at the dinner table. She knew my table manners were that of a slob.
I’m a guy, of course I can’t eat like a human being!
Lady and Blackie took Ooshpa’s death hard in 1975. Both of them were his ladies in waiting, as Ooshpa was the king. I still don’t know what took him. My last memory of him was his head lying under the toilet and barely moving.
I can still remember that 42 years later.
Lady died in 1989 in Santa Clarita, California. I still regret that I wasn’t there to see her go, but I know that I’ll see her, Tags, Ooshpa, and Blackie on the Other Side. We’re all going to play together-just like we did when I was a kid.
And we’ll all watch Oospha climb that ladder again and marvel.