February 27th…“TELL ABOUT THE BEST PET YOU EVER HAD.”
“Spotty” was my buddy, my BEST buddy!! That dear dog and I were inseparable. No matter how much trouble I was in with parents, teachers or whoever; my pal “Spotty” was always thrilled to see me. Energetically he would “lick my face off” because he was my devoted friend no matter what anyone else said about me.
There would be times I was crying from a scolding by teacher or parents. There I sat, in a lap full of tears, as “Spotty” would see me from a distance and run to my side. That pooch literally would “kiss” my tears away with that happy tongue of his, leaving me slathered and slobbered all over, yet glad for this sincere camaraderie between that Terrier and myself. Oftentimes, we’d play fight with each other. I’d have my leather gloves on (or not) and that aggressive lil stinker would bite and gnaw on my clenched fist. It was his roughhouse way of saying, “I love this chew toy human!!”
In the Bible, Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 Verse 2 says, “There’s a time to be born, And a time to die…..”. Sadly, in early August of 1967, it was to be “Spotty’s” time to die. Our parents had sold the family farm and Dad had decided that “Spotty” would not be making the trip with us to our new home in Washington State. Although our farmer father loved all of our animals, including “Spotty”, he had to face the reality of a time crunch and moving our family to a whole new life on the West Coast. There just would not be the luxury of time in trying to find a new home for the family dog. Poor Dad, he was obviously overloaded with so much to do already in packing and getting ready for the 1,720 mile journey ahead of us all.
My brother-in-law was given the task of killing our dog. My job, on that fateful day, was to jump in the bed of our 1950 Ford pickup and call “Spotty” to jump in there with me. Happily obedient, my four legged friend jumped up and inside the truck box with me for what was to be his last ride on this Earth. As usual, his tail was wagging with joy for taking this ride and he was exuding his usual trademark energy for life. As the truck bumped along the alfalfa field and towards the “thicket” (back woods) of our property, the tears flowed from my eyes like a faucet as I petted and hugged this dear dog as my brother-in-law approached the “thicket” at the far SW corner of our 120 acre farm.
I just couldn’t bear the pain of actually seeing my canine cutie shot, so, after “Spotty” and I jumped down from the truck bed, I had him follow my brother-in-law while I climbed into the pickup’s cab. I tightly rolled up both windows to keep out the sound of what I knew would happen shortly. I watched “Spotty” obediently follow that man with the rifle towards the thick brush and then disappear around a corner.
I clasped my hands tightly over my ears in the hopes of not hearing the crack of that rifle shot, but…...KAPOWWW!!!.….I still heard the awful shot that ended my “Spotty’s” life. Even though I was a young man of 13 years, it was a very lonely rest of the day and full of tears for this country boy who no longer would enjoy the company of that little white Terrier who had shown me his heart to be full of love and licks for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.