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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Unexpected Kinship:Brownie and Winston


For a time, we rented a small house on a busy road.  A caramel-colored dog would come to our yard often, although we think he was from another home across the road from us.  We had lost a cat or two because of traffic, even with a fenced yard, and were not looking for another pet at that time.  We had plans for the home we would build on a mountain ridge next door to good friends, which would be a far better place for any pets, and were waiting for the completion of that house.  But the dog from across the road began coming frequently to our house so we decided to feed him.  Gradually, he did indeed become our dog, and we named him (appropriately) Brownie.  He would roam, however, and one time had a fierce encounter with some other dogs and limped home with many wounds.  The vet gave us medicine to treat his injuries and he survived that agony.  When we finally moved into our new home on the “mountain” he came with us.

Brownie was a wonderful companion for us and for our children.  One day he came down the long drive to our new place with a girl friend: a black and white dog who seemed friendly enough.  But we didn’t believe we could take in another dog at that time and gave her to some friends who lived in Madison, the town below us.  They named her Blackie.  One day soon afterwards, we got a call from our friends notifying us that Blackie was pregnant, and she must have been when Brownie brought her home, because she was almost due!  Blackie’s pups were adorable and all found homes quickly.  One went to a home near where we would be living after we sold our mountain home in order to be closer to school and the town events.  Blackie spent the rest of her life with our friends and was happy.  Unfortunately, I can't find our photos of Brownie.


I seem to be the only one in our family who acknowledges this, but the little dog who some years later wandered into our yard in Madison where we had moved a few years before, was a descendant of our Brownie!  It seems that an offspring of Blackie, who lived in town, had fathered the little pup.  As what I consider certain proof, not long after that dog appeared, whom we named Winston, a female pup showed up, just like Winston except for being black and white like Blackie, whereas Winston was caramel and white.  Same markings, same kind of voice, same size.  We were certain she was Winston’s sister, and we found a good home for her.  Their father was a neighborhood Romeo, we were told.  So to this day I am certain that our dear Brownie was Winston’s grandfather.

Winston lived 17 years, a smart and friendly member of our family, who got along well with our other dogs.  His one unbreakable habit was to dig out from under the fenced pen in our back yard  and take our other two dogs with him, to go exploring down town.  Fortunately, they were never hurt before I could find them and bring them back home!  A few months before Winston died, however, he managed to slip away one night when he was let out in the front yard instead of in the dog lot.  Someone found him several days later starting across the bridge that led out of town.  Because he was almost completely deaf and blind by then, it is really a miracle he survived.  A neighbor happened along and took Winston back toward our house, believing he might belong to us or to some family on our street.  The next morning, our next door neighbor, my husband’s brother, saw Winston slipping through the hedge to our house and went over to let him inside.  Winston then lived several more months.  He died at home.  I discovered him late one afternoon in our large dog lot when he didn’t come in for his supper after I called him.  He was a good dog.

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