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When I was growing up, my parents got a dog named Skippy from a family that was moving out of town. Skippy was a German Shepherd – quite a large dog considering my first was a Dachshund (who left us after a biting incident when I was 5).

Skippy only spent one summer with me. To my dismay, my parents thought he was too big and too rambunctious. This may have been true, but he was MY dog, and I really loved him. We used to sit in my room watching ‘Price is Right’ on a black and white TV, while sharing a ham sandwich. [Don’t give me any stick over giving a dog ham…. it was cheap and barely meat]

The best/worst story I have about Skippy is thus:
We were leaving the house and my parents told me to put Skippy in his pin under the deck. As I drug the exited beast to his destination, he knocked me over and started licking my face, thinking it was play time. My dad approached him with a rolled up newspaper, [We never had newspapers just sitting around the house. NEVER. To this day, I think it simply materialized in his hand], and swatted his butt. I’m not sure why God designed them this way, but a dog’s natural reaction to a newspaper on the hind quarters is to release pee… nay… ALL the pee. My head was soaked. I had let my B-17 flying Grandfather, along with the entire ‘Greatest Generation’, down by allowing a German dog to soil my young American head.” Oh, the shame. My mother then insisted I splash some water on my head and hop in the van. Being that this was no job for a mere splash, I went to the garden hose and took what equated to a dip in the pool. Clothes and all.

I believe this is the moment that sealed Skippy’s fate. By the end of the summer, he was off to another family. I never really blamed him for the drenching I received. It was just a natural reaction by a dog to a newspaper. My parents never understood the connection I had with Skippy. It broke my heart to see him go. Well, ‘hardened’, may be the more appropriate word.

We soon got another dog that lived her whole life with us. She was a great dog, but she was attached to my dad. He was the one she wanted to be near. To play with. To LIVE with. I never felt like I had a dog more than that single summer of my youth.

I hope that CJ feels differently once he’s grown up. Hobbes came into our life just this year, but I can see him being a great companion for my son. Hopefully, the pairing will mean as much to him as that summer did to me, so long ago.