Thursday, September 07, 2006

Dog Days

Growing up I had my fair share of dogs. The first was Troy, but he wasn't but my father's mother's. Troy was a black toy poodle. There was also Dillinger, my uncle's Doberman pinscher. Dillinger lived in my grandmother garage and ate his own poop and vomit. Troy lived in the house and was pampered.

The next dog, I remember was Brownie. Brownie was a little chihuahua mix, that I received from my only blood aunt during the 2 years I lived with my mother's mother (who we all call Mother). Brownie was wild little dog that roamed the neighborhood. He found himself another home during the time when we were in the midst of moving out to Vanceboro.

Once out at 150 Chips Road (in Vanceboro), we soon went to the shelter and got 2 dogs (Big Tyme and Rusty). Big Tyme was a German Shepard mix. Rusty was an Alaskan Husky. Rusty lasted one night an was dead in the morning. The shelter replaced him with Lefty a white, Malamute mix. The two of them had a nice home in our backyard until one day Lefty got sick and died.

For a long time, it was just us and Big Tyme until we returned for a trip to Trenton and found him dead. He was buried in the back yard and it was a while before we decided to get a new dog. Our new dog was Buffy and she was a chihuahua mix. In fact, she was the half-sister to Brownie (from the same mother, but not of the same father or litter). Buffy was with us for a while and this is where my father comes in ...

Like all our dogs, Buffy was a yard dog. We had an acre of land and a safe neighborhood, so our dogs, when not confined by a chain to their dog house, were allowed to run about our fenced in back yard. The fence wasn't the best of fences so most of the time, if they were not chained down, they were roaming the neighborhood. Buffy, however, wasn't a roamer. She liked to stay at home and on a hot summer day her favorite place was under the car.

Now you know where this is going, so I'll just finish the tale.

Usually, when it came time to leave and Buffy was loose, she would be the first to greet you as you came out the door. However, this day she did not and my father climb into the car and backed up with a thump. He stopped immediately and with great sorrow, he knew what had happened. He had run over Buffy. He hoped that she wasn't too hurt, maybe it was just a broken leg. It was not. It was a broken neck and she was not dead. With tears in his eyes, he walked next door and borrowed the shotgun, so he could put Buffy out of her misery.

We were sent into the house as this transpired, but I remember watching through the window as it happened. Later, he I remember him saying that he believed that she was dead before the car started and that's why she didn't moved as she ALWAYS did before. Maybe that is what we all wanted to believe because it's easily than knowing that you killed your family's pet.

I know the truth because she was still breathing before the bullet and I remember the blood pooling in her mouth and running out. This was close to 2 decades ago and it still sits with me. I had the same sickness in my stomach that day as I did when I watched my mother swipe the drool from my father's mouth that day in the hospital. As she wiped it away, the blood flowed out of his mouth. She pulled away startled and turned to me with tears in her eyes. As I turned away to once again look out the window and into the parking lot, it hit me for the first time that the man my mother loved, my father, was not coming back and I found myself fighting back tears. That was the first time, I cried over my father's death and even then it hadn't fully hit me.

I never expected my father to be gone now or ever. Even through all his problems and adventures, he always emerged if not victorious at least mostly unscathed. Even when I heard massive, massive stroke from the doctors, I expected him to be there smiling with that smirk on his face. He was Larry Diamond ... untouchable ... invincible and I prefer to remember him that way.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Storytelling Part II

Remember the story about the sandbox and sand that I mentioned earlier?
Well, it was my time to tell it to my kids and I took it to the next level.

The story involves all the same basic information except in my telling once I get dirt in my hair ...

I walk over to the road and pick up a huge strip of the asphalt (cartoon style) and slam it down on the kid's head. The kid (now named Chris) then gave up his life of petty mischief and became Santa Claus and thus I am responsible for beginning Christmas.

That's the story and I'm sticking to it. My kids are in awe and don't question a single fact of the story. Every time they bring up the story I alter it slightly. One day it will be a tale that they tell their kids and their kids' kid with everyone slightly altering it.

My father would be proud.