Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February 10th, 2011

Sequoia

In the early days, those that came before the magic store my father was in the fruits and vegetable business.  It was an import export business he inherited from his father.

We had an attached garage.  I was in the basement (where eventually the magic shop would go) and I heard the garage door go up.  Just as I got to the end of the short hallway my father came through the door with a husky puppy in his arms.  I believe my father got Misty from a farmer with whom he did business.

I am probably not the one to tell this story, I was very young at the time and I don’t remember everything as clearly as others might.  But alas it has been hinted, more than once, that I should write about Misty, so here we are.

1971:  for those of you taking your socks off trying to do the math, I was six.

Misty was a typical looking black and white husky.  She had one blue eye and one brown.  Like most huskies, Misty was trouble.   My folks started off trying to paper train her.  They covered the entire basement floor in newspaper and put the puppy in the basement.   Misty found a spot where the corners of the newspaper overlapped, she spread them apart and pooped directly on the floor.  That alone should be a lesson to anyone thinking about getting a husky, they are really smart and will try anything to undermine what you want them to do. 

My mother tells the story of the time Misty was getting a treat and as my mother tried to take the treat back Misty growled and bared her puppy teeth.  While cute at the time my mother realized that in a year or so that may not be so cute.  I don’t know how my mother corrected the behavior, but she (Misty, not my mother) never growled at me.

Every day I would walk Misty while waiting for the carpool to take me to school.  By walk I mean I would stand outside on the lawn with the dog and when the car came my mother would take the leash.  For those of you who are un-aware huskies are really strong dogs and it just so happens they really like to pull.  One day the car arrived to take me to school and Misty simply jumped into the car dragging me along chaos insued.  One adult in the driver’s seat a few kids in the back and a rambunctious husky puppy jumping all over everything.  The next day it was decided that it would be best not to have the dog out when the carpool arrived.  That  decision was in vain as the next day the car never arrived.   For years after I thought Misty was a magic dog, no Misty, no carpool.  If only it were that simple!

Back in the early 70’s we used to get snow!  And I mean snow.  That year it was so deep we had trouble opening the door, we had to shove Misty out of a second story window so she could go out for her walk.

We also rented a county house.  Misty used to help us dig our snow forts.  And I have a very vague memory of Misty pulling us around on a sled. 

Years later, in elementary school a teacher asked us to write about our earliest memory.  I remember lots of stuff, I just am horrible with dates and when it comes to my early memories I never know what happened exactly when.  But I remember writing that my earliest memory was when my father brought Misty home.  Even then I knew that was not my earliest memory but it is one of my favorites.   The same teacher asked us to write about our favorite memory.  I wrote the exact same thing.   My favorite memory is when my father brought Misty home.  That same teacher asked us to write about our saddest memory.  I wrote, “my saddest day was when Misty left our home”

It turns out my eldest sister was allergic to fur and feathers.  The allergy was so severe the only option was to give Misty up.  My father says he put two advertisements in the paper one for the dog one for my sister, the dog got the first response.  We are reasonably sure he was joking about the advertisements. Reasonably!

One thing was certain.  Everyone loved Misty.  The kids on the block, even the other dogs on the block, Princess, a samoyed that lived down the street was one of her best dog friends.  I’m pretty sure the girl down the block who used to babysit only did so because of Misty.

When Misty finally found a new home I used to have horrible dreams, in this particular recurring dream Misty was simply hiding somewhere, playing a game.  I’d wake up in the middle of the night and look under my bed I’d sneak out of my room and it was only when I got to the living room did the reality of it sink back in.  Misty was no longer there.   In another dream my friend down the block had found her and was holding her for me.  Boy was I disappointed when I woke up.  Later that day my friend was outside on our walkway, (we all used to gather there and play CHAMP, a game with a ball).  I couldn’t get past my dream even though I knew it was a dream.  He must have thought I was nuts when I asked him if he had Misty.  But I had to ask. 

My mother took it the hardest.  My mother was the one who looked after Misty the most.  You can barely mention Misty’s name without my bringing my mother close to tears.  Lucky for us Sequoia doesn’t resemble Misty and doesn’t bring out that reaction. 

Maya, Sequoia’s only dog friend is a black and white husky.  Not too long ago my folks were in town and we had a few friends over including Maya and her family.  Sure enough there was a tear or two shed when Maya walked up onto the lawn.

Years later, whenever the conversation of pets surfaced my mother would say no, because she is the one that ends up looking after them not us.  So no, we could not have pets.  Years later we learned the truth.  My mother would not let us look after Misty, she knew we had to give her up and she didn’t want us to get any more attached then we already were.  My mother was trying to spare us what she eventually had to endure, because that is what mothers do.

When my wife and I first decided to keep Sequoia I knew I had to call home and tell my folks.

Me; “Hello mom, we rescued a husky and decided to keep her”

Long pause

Mom: “They die you know”

As I watch Sequoia getting older, and I see her slowing down, I hear those words, I hear them every time I see Sequoia struggling to leap into the car, or ever so slowly get down from the couch, yes there are times we have to give them up, yes they get older, yes they die, and no, it is not fair!

Brian and Misty, 1971

 

 

Brother, Father, Misty, Me,

 

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: