Publicado el 06/19/2009 5:56 PM EST
By Durhl Caussey
Every child who reaches adulthood can reflect back and remember a particular pet that made their young lives happy. Here is just such a remembrance.
In the sixth grade, while walking home from school, I found a sickly, frail, hungry, scared, and big-footed little puppy trapped in a drainage ditch. With his rescue, he bequeathed me with the most precious and wonderful love.
Once he gained strength, the puppy and I were insepa¬rable. Summer was quickly approaching, and I definitely had made plans for our adventures.
I named the puppy Pill because that was just what he was ... a pill. He had a laughing tongue and feet that were always under foot. With a perpetual moving tail that would put Andrew Lit¬ton’s baton to shame, Pill was a dog of character and great personal warmth. Even his doggy smell oozed love.
Pill and I went every¬where together, delivering the morning papers, mowing the neighbor’s yard, and sharing a snow cone with the money we earned. Pill lis¬tened when I spoke, looking directly at me with those big puppy eyes. He would turn his head from side to side as if each word spoken was the most important word in the world. When things became too much of a challenge at home, with food and affection in short supply, Pill was always there to comfort and brighten me with hope.
Pill was a laugher, a giver, a reliever, and most importantly . . . my best friend.
As June stretched toward July, and summer heat made life difficult for those of us shirtless and under hats of straw, Pill began to lose some of his pep and energy.
One day, while on one of our adventuresome jaunts, Pill lost movement in his hindquarters and tried to drag himself around with his front legs. When this occurred, I loaded him into the basket in the front of my bike and took him home. With a little rest, Pill was himself in no time and able to walk the next day.
But one morning Pill could not get up, and could only barely raise his head. Yet his tail still made happy sounds. Pill was again loaded in the bike basket and taken to the local vet, but I didn’t have the three dollars to pay. I went home and sold my BB Gun, the one Santa had brought me the previous Christmas, to a neighbor boy. With the five dollars from the sale, Pill saw the vet.
The vet said that Pill had distemper and would die soon. I left my bike and carried Pill to the house and made him a pallet on a quilt next to my bunk on the screened porch.
Over the next few days, Pill quit eating and his con¬dition worsened. His bright, dark eyes had turned com¬pletely white, and his once erect and playful ears took refuge on his face and neck. His breathing became shal¬low and he cried from the pain during the night. Only my touching hand or voice seemed to help him escape the pain.
On a dark, gloomy, rain-¬swept night Pill passed away, cradled in my arms, as his tail tapped against my leg. I wrapped him in our favorite blanket, and with a shovel, buried him in the backyard near the orchard.
In a prayer, I asked God to take care of him and love Pill just as I had.
Although losing Pill occurred over 50 years ago, there are still memories of sight and sound locked away in this man’s thoughts that were once part of a little boy’s heart. Thoughts that are brought to mind by boys and bikes, mowed summer grass, swimming holes and a dog’s tail that makes happy sounds.
This column is dedicated to my friends Aggie and Glenn Womble who just lost their dog Radar.
Durhl Caussey is a syndicated columnist who writes for papers across America. He may be reached at this paper or at firstname.lastname@example.org.