First Love (and an exciting update)!
But I distinctly remember Dinah. Dinah was family friend’s Labrador retriever.
I met Dinah when we visited them at “Holly Ranch,” in Lake Placid, a little under two hours north of where I grew up in Upstate New York. I recall lying on the carpeted floor and communicating with Holly while the adults were talking; I had no idea that I was “communicating” but I knew that I understood her. I remember that she felt a bit anxious about me staring so intently at her. I can’t say that I blame her.
Dinah was one of the first dogs who sent me down a road of constantly harassing my parents to “get” a dog.
Unfortunately, at that point I didn’t realize I was fighting for a dream that would not be coming anytime soon. My father had to leave a dog behind overseas while serving in the NAVY in WWII. He later ended up having to put down a Boxer because the dog frightened a neighbor child. Sadly, different social norms existed about giving in to these kinds of complaints, as well as the value of the life of an animal. I am sure that my father had no idea how those losses were impacting his willingness to bring another potential loss into his life. I was eventually allowed to keep a stray kitten that I caught. Little did he know he was going to fall in love with that kitten. You can run but you can’t hide.
I did not adopt a dog until I was in my late 20’s and so it was a long journey to Meesha.
But my first dog loves, as well as all of the dogs that came after via friends and the neighborhood dogs that used to roam free, set in motion a lifetime of interest in all things canine. Dinah was a dog I met only once but I pretty much coveted her and believed by the end of the trip that she was mine. Our time together, although brief, has influenced the course of my life.