Thursday, April 12, 2012


I was loading ALL my albums and extra piles of photos into a large carrying bag an hour ago. Am taking all of them to Susie's in a couple weeks. It covers my whole childhood background, my kid's and grandkids, many friends, and traveling in various states and nations, especially trips in and out of Africa. Could hardly carry the bag, it was so heavy, and have 3 more albums to add to it and piles of photos that I've had in my office. Susie won't have a chance to be bored... and she usually doesn't have one when I'm around anyway, because I'm such a rowdy woman. [Now, she could be worn out by the time I leave after visiting for 2 weeks, but, no, not bored!] [My goal with them now and up north is to scan for hours a day to get these hundreds and hundreds of photos on the computer. Partly so they are "postable".]

ANYHOW, I suddenly saw this ph
oto. My sisters gave me a mix of items last May when I visited them in the NW three months after our Mom's death. This was one of them, and it made me grin when I saw it today. I'll tell you the story; it will make YOU grin, too.
I was 3 years old. We lived in a rural part of Tacoma, WA, in a house my dad had put together. Mom was about 28; my Dad was about 29.
Now, the story is that Mom had terrible asthma at this time. When Dad was leaving for a job, he would carry Mom to the living room, set her by a card table with a pillow on it, and Mom would stay there, as much as possible, until Dad came home.

I was on my own. To eat breakfast, I would climb onto counters to dig out cereal and a bowl. I'm assuming we had a fridge of some kind for the milk, but ain't so sure since things could be much different. Maybe just had ice in a storage area, which wasn't uncommon back then.

During the day, I could find cousins nearby ... this house had been built on part of my uncle's property ... but usually I just had to stay home. [I honestly don't know how long this phase of life was, but doubt that it was even a year.]

Somehow, this collie became a family addition. I have referred to it as Lassie, but have no idea if that was the name back then. However, the main issue is that Lassie was my babysitter. One bright dog! And, back then and forever more, I was a very independent and "looking round the bend" kid.

When it was time to play, I could go out in the yard. Would ride the dog, would toss rocks [who ME??? Became a rock addict at a very young age!]. As you can see, we didn't have a fancy life, so just running around the yard wouldn't always have worked. [We had nettles and poison ivy very nearby and a small stream not far behind the house, so carefulness was a necessity, especially as a small child.]

My "babysitter" would keep me in line. If I was on Lassie's back and tried to prod him to go outside the yard, onto the dirt road, I would be bucked off and he would grab me and pull me back. If I simply tried to run outside the yard, and Lassie was right behind me, I'd be knocked down, my clothes grabbed [not torn, amazingly], and I'd be dragged back. That was one consistent helper for my parents. What a faithful babysitter!

I'm not much of a "dog" person. Mostly, because they require too much work and financial challenges in our present day, but, in those long-ago days, I truly loved dogs. I expect you would understand why.

And, during all these years [more than 60, BTW], I have thought of Lassie and smiled every time. My babysitter was strict, but, yes, we loved each other.


Mary said...

Possibly an angel in dogs clothing???
Precious little girl.

What a treasure all those photos are.

Gayle said...

And your angel as well...
Loved this story!

Anonymous said...

How darling....I didn't know about this either. I know mom had a boxer that she'd been really attached to but didn't know about the collie. Who took the pictures? Do you know?

S. Etole said...

Mom used to tell about a border collie they had that made sure my older brother stayed in the yard when he was small. Think they are very smart dogs.

Beth said...

This is a wonderful story! Border collies are great at herding even small children. :>)

Simon said...

It is truly amazing to learn about all the amazing things that God can use dogs to do.

SimplyDarlene said...

those images,
both the actual
and the mental


SimplyDarlene said...

one more thing,
my doggies