Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bio #18 - Pets

We always had at least one cat. There was Whiskers, Spot, and Ginger. Our only dog was a rat-tailed retriever, and he was something else. When I was about eight, Dad came home one suppertime from work and said to Eddie to feel in his coat pocket. There was a little brown curly dog. Of course we were delighted. One of the negro porters, Mr. Mortimer, had several. They are a good breed of dog with children, and Dad got one of them. Of course he had to have a name, so Dad named him Bandy, after the only pet he had down East. (in Ontario) Gosh he was cute, dark brown and about seven inches long, but he was lousy (had lice.) So Mom and Dad cleaned him up good and we had a real companion for nine years. Being a retriever, he could swim like a fish, and as he grew - we were only two blocks from the river - he came home lots of times soaking wet. He had been swimming.
Letty with her cat, Ginger, 1930s
Irish Water Spaniel, I think this is likely the breed of dog Letty describes.
Mom always felt safe when Bandy was around, and Dad at work nights. Especially during the early thirties when there were so many people out of work, and always some man knocking on the back door, for something to eat. Mom never turned any of them away without a double sandwich, but the old dog laid inside the kitchen.

Sometimes he had a fight, or he went on digging binges. He got some bark into the front foot one time, from digging I suppose, and he laid on the floor for days - lick-lick-lick. It finally came out and was over one inch long.

Dad and Mr. Gaffney, who also had a dog like Bandy, would go duck hunting in the fall, two dogs, two guns, and two men and a car. Mom hated these trips to Lake Newell, because it meant cleaning ducks. I don't blame her. All that buckshot to remove. They can let all ducks live as far as I'm concerned.