Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Dog Skippy: Only Grinning Dog I Ever Met

My dog "Skippy" was the only grinning dog I ever met. When you spoke to him, his lip would curl back on the sides of his mouth and expose his teeth! On school days, he would follow me to the bus stop on Highway 99, off the old 9th St. Bridge in South Modesto. When I got on the bus headed north into town, he would start running alongside and when the bus reached the bridge crossing over the Tuolumne River, he would run under the bridge and presumably stop at the river's edge, though I could no longer see him from my seat. My greatest fear was that he would cross the bridge and follow the bus into town and he would get lost forever.

My head hanging halfways out of the window, I would shout: "No, Skippy, no! Go home! Go home!", but that seemed only to trumpet him onward. Yet, my fear was relieved when I returned home about 2:15 in the afternoon and Skippy was faithfully waiting for me on the dirt road in front of our house. He would begin a maddened dash towards me and leaping into my arms, would lick my face and hands. And, of course, he would grin. Skippy would later get rabies and my older brother Jess, would have to put him down with a .22 caliber pump rifle we had.

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