Friday, June 13, 2008

The First Mister

We ended up living in Simi Valley, just one canyon away from the big San Fernando Valley of Valley Girl fame. My dad barely lived a year after his retirement. A couple of months before his sudden death, he came home with a small bundle of fur. It was our first dog, a small Wire Haired Fox Terrier he named Mister Patches. Mister, he said, was the runt of the litter from his friend's breeding pair. We all loved that dog. When Daddy died, we all thought that Mister would follow his Master, but he ended up living a long full life.

One afternoon my mom had new living room furniture delivered. This was the first brand new furniture I can ever remember her getting. She was really excited, but wasn't quite sure exactly how she wanted it arranged. She had the delivery men put the pieces down, then almost immediately had them move them around. She looked at it and once again had them shuffle the pieces.

Finally the two men headed for their truck, making tracks fairly quickly. I think they were afraid they were going to be trapped in an all-day redecorating cycle. As they left, Mom glanced out the front window and saw Mister merrily trotting along behind the men toward their truck. She raced out of the front door and yelled, "Mister, you get your butt back in this house!"

Both men turned around and started walking slowly back toward her, looking resigned and dejected, but obedient. The dog kept pace. She then had to explain in embarrassment that the dog's name was Mister, and that they could go on to their truck. As she grabbed the dog, they wasted no time making their exit. Mom never lived that one down.

She figured Daddy had named the dog Mister knowing that eventually the name would get her in trouble. At least she wasn't in as bad a fix as Grandma. Daddy's mother finally refused to call their dog in at all. Grandpa named their dog 'Dammit' and the blessed dog would never answer to any other name as long as it lived.

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