I was born in the small town of Winthrop outside of Boston in 1964. For those of you doing math, yes that makes me 48 (well 49 in December). The role of a dog in the family was very different back then. Although we always had dogs growing up, our dogs were treated differently then I treat my companions animals today. It was not frowned upon to have an “outside” dog or a dog tethered to a giant chain.
We had such a dog. He was a Sheperd/Collie mix named Rex. I remember getting him as a puppy. He was an inside dog until he had one too many accidents in the house. I remember him gnawing on our arms and playing rough with us. But the thing I remember most about Rex was that he was a great escape artist. Even though he was chained to a big tree in our yard, Rex would somehow manage to get loose.
The first time the Winthrop police officer brought Rex home in the back of his police car, my dad and he stood in the driveway gabbing away. Evidently they knew each other pretty well. I was pretty young so I don’t remember all the details but I think maybe a Budweiser was offered and a cigarette or two smoked. I remember hearing deep belly laughs about that darned dog and his ability to get out of the heavy chain.
The second time the police officer brought Rex home, no beer was offered. There was no laughing at that darned dog. There was a stern “Jim, I’m gonna have to fine you the next time…” lecture and that darned dog turned into the damned dog!
The third time was not happy. A ticket and fine was issued. A lot of talk about rehoming or worse yet taking him to the dog pound with us kids crying and begging to keep him. We won out.
Then Rex escaped again. This time, however, he went downtown and held up the First National Bank. He wouldn’t let anyone come out of the bank and he wouldn’t let anyone go into the bank. Our family was famous for having the crazy dog who held up the bank.
Rex found a new home with my uncle out in the country (western Massachusetts) and we got to see him every time we visited him. Rex lived a long and happy, off leash and unchained.
Tell me about your dogs of the past!