Saturday, November 3, 2018

A Howling Bad, Howling Good time

A Howling Bad, Howling Good Time by Brandy Larson Nov, 2018 We could see only their little tails scooting back and forth. Half a dozen silky black puppies raced back and forth in the dog run behind the neighbors house. I was eight and allowed to hold them. "Mom, oh Mom, can I have a puppy?" Thrilled, I agreed to all the responsibilities. Owwoooh, Oww-hoooo. The full moon was high up in the summer sky. I cradled Tiny, my little black dog with a white patch on his chest, in my lap on the patio. It was midnight when I heard him. Mom already said, "If The Dog keeps this up we'll have to get rid of him." Howling was bad, comforting him in the silence, stroking his long silky ears, was good. Lying on the lounge chair in my jammies with bare feet was cold. A dog's life in the 50's meant living in the yard. Dad built a big house for my smaller dog. My little brother David liked to wiggle his way into the dog house, something only a boy would do. When we moved across town we tied Tiny up at the new house. When we came back to the new home front with another load of stuff, Tiny had slipped his collar and was gone. It was crying time. Back at he old house for another load - there was Tiny. Oh, happy day. He'd run all the way back to his place of origin. "How did he know how to get back here?" I asked Dad. "The wonder of dogs," he said. When the snow came to Salt Lake City we made a comfy little bed and Tiny was allowed in the utility room at night. A few years later we moved to Northern California with Tiny. A few more years later the economy took a nosedive and we upped stakes to move to the Midwest. It was The Grapes of Wrath in reverse. We sold the piano and the beautiful dining room set and were finally left with a tarp covered trailer of essentials and three kids in an overloaded Nash Rambler station wagon. "There is no room for Tiny," Dad said. "This is a fact of life." We had a big tent. Mom said, "It will be an adventure, camping across the West." It had been a long day on the road. A State Park was our destination. We drove and drove, searching and searching. Well after dark Dad finally pulled off the highway into what looked like an encampment. He conferred with another of the many would be campers hunkered down for the night. Wyoming had optimistically featured the State Park on the map - that had not been developed... "Son of a gun." Exhausted, Dad repeated the famous words of Brigham Young, "This is the Place." He pulled our sleeping bags out of the back of the station wagon. "OK kids, we are roughing it tonight." The ground wasn't too hard as I snuggled into my sleeping bag, staring into the starry Big Sky. "Oww-wooooh, oowoooh," sound travels far in the desert at night. "Yip-yap-yip-yip." Another full moonlit up the sky. The coyotes sang to each other in the wide open spaces, having a good time as only canines can. Tiny's cousins I thought, just before I finally fell asleep. B