When I was a youngster, I had four dog as pets.
The first was breed I don't remember, but his name was Leben. I was two at the time and my dad said I could name him. So, I named him Leben. That was my way of saying eleven at the time.
Eight years later, another dog came into my life, Mickey (named for Mickey Mantle). He was a mixed Beagle breed. But Mickey's stay with us wasn't a long one and a couple of years after we lost Mickey, a friend of mine said he would trade one of his puppies for my bicycle saddlebags. After getting my parent's okay, I went to my friend's and selected the first pup to come to me.
I took him home and named him King.
King was a Shepard mix and my favorite pet of all. He and I were inseparable. When we were apart, I was as happy to see him again, as he was me. He was a big, beautiful animal who wouldn't hurt a flea, but scared a lot of people.
My mom spent the most time with King and after a while started adding to his name. King knew when he did something wrong and she was angry, as his full name was screamed rather loudly...King Elenore Rubien! And then she would find him on my bed with his head under my pillow.
We took King on trips with us. He loved my grandparent's farm, where he could romp and play with all of us kids in a world larger than anything he would see in the Chicago suburb we lived in.
Then one day while visiting my Uncle Bill's farm, we took off for the "Haunted Forest"... an area of woods which made strange noises and we enjoyed playing in. King came with us. As we walked through the pasture to the wooded area, King came face-to-face with his first cow. Rather than spending a few minutes checking it out, he turned tail and took off for the house.
Unfortunately, he had to cross a public road to get to the house. And luck wasn't with him. A rare car was coming down the road at the same time King crossed. They met in front of the house.
Not knowing what was happening, I saw my uncle's car, with my dad in the back seat, speeding down the road. They were taking King to the town vet. He kept King over night and released him the next day, much to my relief. King suffered not much more than a slight concussion. But it also changed King. He didn't like going anywhere except the grandparent's farm. Even at the suburban house, King wasn't the same. But open the door and let him out after the 100 mile trip to the farm, and he became his old self again.
I had to admit it...he was much better there than anywhere else and my grandparents liked him as much we did. So there he stayed. He's buried out on that farm somewhere, but I still remember him with fondness.
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