I have not written much about my childhood yet and an old friend and fellow blogger suggested I do so. I thought what the hell. I decided to start with our first family dog, Sarge. Sarge was a lab and doberman mix with a short stubby tail. He was a great dog, one of those kinds of animals that you will never ever forget. He was my companion growing up and all the way until I left home for the Marines.
Sarge was a fighter. He never backed down from a fight with any other dog. In fact he beat the hell out of dogs up to three times his size. My mother used to use black strap molasses to bandage up his wounds, and there were many of those over the years. He was my friend, confidant and climbing buddy. The Warner Mountains started literally a block away from where we lived.
One morning I remember being awakened by my mom and brother and hearing Sarge yelping like there was no tomorrow. I came out of my room to see his face and mouth covered in porcupine quills. We had to cut/deflate and pull out more that I could count. I have never seen an animal be able to take so much pain. See back then we did not have a lot of money and we were the veterinarians.
Sarge loved to fight but I suspect that he never went near another porcupine ever again. That dog and I spent a lot of time outside in the snow, under the stars in the summer. We camped out and hung out with my friends, the few that I had anyway. He was the kind of dog that did not need a leash, he did exactly what you wanted with a word or a whistle. Sarge is the smartest dog that I have ever met. I know that there is a special place in the Universe for beings like him. He helped me survive my childhood.
I was saddened by the news when I was 21 and in the Marines at Camp Pendleton, Ca that he had died. He died alone under my moms house. It made me cry and feel sad until I remembered that just like he lived, he died on his own terms.
Love you old friend…