Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Digging up a memory...

When I was a child, I would spend hours with my dog out in the backyard. She was a funny dog--a mutt-mix of--if you can believe it--German Shepard and Bassett Hound. She looked as crazy as that sounds as well, with very short basset legs, and a very large body and long floppy Bassett ears. Her coloring was more like a Shepard, with blacks and browns. But, I love my dog more than anything. She was my very best friend in the world.

Growing up an only child for eight years of my childhood, I became very attached to my dog. I taught her how to climb the ladder on my swing set and go down the slide. We went on adventures of the imagination in my back yard. But, one of our most favorite things to do was to dig.

That's right, dig. I'd get my sandbox shovel out and she'd use her long nails which were way past due for a clipping. As soon as she'd see me heading for the base of the big oak in our back yard, she'd run to beat me there and begin frantically digging away. I was certain, I told her, that if we dug hard enough and worked long enough, we'd get to China one day. And, I'd decided if that did not work, then we'd at least dig a series of tunnels and caves that would take us all around my neighborhood unseen. And, how exciting would that be! Like something you'd read in a Nancy Drew novel or something!

So, we dig away for hours. We had some scary encounters as we got deeper into the soil, including one with a very large albino tarantula. But, for the most part, it was just time that we'd spend together. I'd sing her songs and tell her stories from school and she's happily pant and roll over for her belly to be scratched. To those with siblings growing up, this might sound like a lonely childhood, but my days in the backyard with my dog were very happy and content. They are days that I hope my own children will have. Simple times just to play, not cluttered with expensive toys or competitions among friends. A dog just loves you just the way you are and only wants your companionship, no matter what mood you are in or how long you can stay. Your pet is always happy to see you, and isn't that remarkable really?

Well, we never got to China or made those caves, and I moved to a new house a few years later. My dog died not long after and things were never really the same. But, recently, I stumbled across this cool site which brought my digging days all back to my mind and warmed my heart again. And, I discovered that, if we tried to dig through the Earth we would end up in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar. I am going to let my son find that out himself from the website. I hope then that he'll take up his trusty sandbox shovel and call our beloved family dog and go to work in our yard. And who knows what things he'll uncover in the process...

The theme at Mama Says Om, last week, was "Outside." While I'm late posting this, go check out the other entries for this week's theme of "Inside."


Blogger Tamara said...

That's sweet, Steph. Nothing like a good pup...

7:47 PM, November 21, 2006  

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