The first time I ever had a friend that was a dog was when I got to know Laddie. I was four or five at the time and we lived on a farm. I was the only child on the farm and the other people on the farm were busy with grown up affairs most of the time. I was bored most of the time.
We had a dog chained to a dog house who was there to be a watch dog. I had been told that I should stay away from the dog because the dog was mean. I am sure their goal was to protect me from potential danger. I would go near to the dog every day. I would stay just a little bit out of the dogs reach so that I wouldn’t get bit.
Every day I would observe the dog’s behavior. Although I didn’t know what to call it at that time, I was reading the dog’s body language. Even at that young age, I could tell the difference between an angry dog and a friendly dog. I would guess that most small children can tell the difference. Laddie’s body language was saying that he was happy to see me every time I went near his dog house.
One day I did the bravest thing I had ever done in my short life. I reached out a hand and touched Laddie. It was the beginning of a friendship that was oh so good for both of us. A boy with nothing to do and a dog with nothing to do did something together.
As the years passed, except for the time I was away at college, I have always had a dog. When I was younger and I didn’t have a dog, a stray dog always managed to find me.
This blog is here in memory of Laddie and all the dogs I have known. I invite your comments. Tell me about your first dog.