Wednesday, March 21, 2007


What self respecting dudes would ever name their dogs Cuddles and Puddles? Well, I hate to admit it, but Richard and I did.

On a trip to the Florence, AL dog pound, our hearts were captured by two black and white spotted, mostly beagle, pups. They were so cute and so full of life, and almost mirror images of each other. I do not remember why we went to the pound, or why we were rewarded with puppies, but we ended up with the sisters.

Richard and I lived across the street from each other in the Mockingbird Trailer Park. From the first time we met we became fast friends and during the two years in the Mockingbird and the three years in Waverly, Tennessee we shared the growing pains of puberty.

During the summer months, we would take the opportunity of taking the dogs out at night and turn it into an adventure. We would roam the trailer park in the early morning hours, and finally return home and tiptoe back to our beds unnoticed by our families.

The dogs were also close siblings and friends and Cuddles, my dog, really missed her sister when we finally parted ways.

Cuddles lived a fairly long life, but as did the majority of my early dogs, she was killed by a passing automobile. I remember that I was home on leave, about to ship out for Vietnam, when I heard the squeal of the brakes and the terrible yelps. I ran to the highway, picked her up in my arms, took her to a neighbor’s yard, and laid her down. She was obviously having trouble breathing and I instinctively began blowing breaths into her wet nose. I must have puffed a dozen breaths into her before it was obvious she was beyond help.

I sat there for a long time, holding Cuddles, and talking to her about my memories of her and Puddles.

She was a good dog, most are, but sadly all I can remember about her is the sneaking out and the futile attempt at saving her life. Strange what we remember, but that is life.

I do not know what happened to Puddles, but chances are it was a passing car.


Les Becker said...

You made me cry. You write too well sometimes.

EC said...

Dogs sure can be our best friends at times... I'm sorry about the loss of both cuddles and puddles. I do love the names, seriously, I think they are adorable.

Fathairybastard said...

Once more, we get to walk through the back of the wardrobe into the world of that trailer park and your fascinating memories. My dad talks a lot about growing up in the 20s and 30s, sharecropping, and how city people would drive out and dump dogs in the country. He'd take them in only to have some other bastard come along and run them over. I've had one cat taken that way. It's a cliché, but there's nothing like the friendship between a little boy and his dog. Some of the best friends I ever had, back when we were moving all over the place and human friends were hard to find or trust. Another excellent post.

Suldog said...

Geez, Mushy, you're just about to ship out and your dog gets run over? Can't get much more sad than that, my man.

Nicely written. Thanks for sharing!

BRUNO said...

It was the effort in TRYING to save her that you should indeed be proud of, even if it was a futile effort. So be proud of yourself for that! Any pet, be it cat or dog, are more like us humans than we care to believe! And like US, they also have their time to leave this world. But, this is, after all, just MY opinion.

Chuck said...

Every time I see a dog dead on the side of the road I think about the sad boy or girl, or adult, who would be crushed to know their beloved pet has met their end that way. When I see cats in that situation I don't feel so concerned! ;)

Great telling of a part of your past Mushy!

Ron Southern said...

I don't think my favorite dog was hit by a car. I always said that Grey went out to the highway one day and hitched a ride to California. Twenty years later, I expect he's in heaven if he's not still in California. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Becky said...

Oh, that's so sad. I'm not looking forward to the time when I lose either one of my boys.

Mushy said...

Great comments guys and gals - it ain't easy losing a pet, it's almost like a child, but it happens.

Thanks so much for the kind words.