A Childhood Pet Friend Extraordinaire
This is a story about a Great Dane who was my pet until he contracted cancer at the beginning of my 2nd year of high school. I know that he was one of a litter of twelve puppies. It seemed to me that he always was a great big dog. I never remember him being small. For as long as I can remember it was always my job to feed him, walk him, and clean up his poop after him. He ate once a day after I came in from play, usually around 5-6 o’clock and you can imagine he ate a lot. His bowl was a very large cooking pot, like one we would have cooked a large stew dish in from time to time. We bought dry kibble food in hundred pound bags from the Farm Bureau which I could not lift until I got older.
The summer I turned eight there came a Saturday when mom and dad went shopping in nearby Port Washington, and this is my first ever memory of a calamitous incident involving my fawn pet Great Dane, Rinkey. His full name was Wrinklepuss, and on this eventful day my little pet was sitting on the front porch with what looked like an ornament of metal draped around his head and neck. It turned out to have been the lead filled glass frame that adorned the upper 1/3 of the heavy wooden front door of the house.
None of us, mom, dad or me had the slightest idea of what we would find inside the house. Rinkey sat rock still very erect on the porch which he had propelled himself onto from inside the living room to that position. The lead glass holder which had held inlaid colored decorative glass was devoid of the glass now sprinkled in shards around his rear-end, tail, and the hewn-rock that made up the top step on the 3-4 steps. All these many years later, I can see this like it was yesterday.
I was first to peek in the living room door. It was the most god-awful sight you have ever could have imagined. Pillow stuffing’s were strewn far and wide, the springs of the sofa and the chairs were exposed where all of the fabric was torn into massive piles of ripped up fabric. It was apparent that Rinkey, had torn the sofa, and two wing-back chairs into smithereens. It looked like a bomb had exploded!
Mom and dad let flow a torrent of expletives, mostly in French, which I had already learned the meaning of, so after the damage assessment in the dining room and kitchen was over, mom and dad quickly decided that they could never leave him by himself again without being tied up to something. I don’t have any memory of how things were made livable again, but I do recall mom and dad recounting the furniture’s’ destruction on several occasions. This was one of those images that I never, ever was able to forget.