When I was four years old my father brought home a little rat terrier puppy.  He came in the house with her in his coat pocket. He wanted to name her Duchess.  I could not pronounce Duchess very well. I called her Brownie. After all, she was brown in color. Eventually, she became known as Brownie.

My sister and I use to dress Brownie in our doll’s clothes. They were not a perfect fit, but we thought she looked cute wearing them. She didn’t seem to mind our doing this but she was only co-operative for a short time. We tried to put her in a baby doll carriage, however, she would have no part of  that!

Brownie would lay on the footstool we had in the living-room. If one of us put our feet beside her, she would wiggle against our feet trying to remove them from the footstool. She always claimed the footstool as her own.

One year shortly before Christmas while our mother was outside, Brownie walked across the living-room floor and that was when the Christmas tree fell to the floor. Christmas bulbs and decorations went in all directions. My sister and I told our mother how the Christmas tree fell, but we think she was a little skeptical of our explanation.

One morning we noticed that Brownie was not around so we went to look for her.  We found her in her bed and she looked very ill.  She was unresponsive to us.  Our older sister took her to the veterinarian. She had to leave her there for treatment. That afternoon we went to the veterinarian’s office to check on her condition and see if we could bring her home with us.

I vividly recall us walking into the veterinarian’s office that afternoon.  My older sister spoke with a man working there. She asked him if Brownie was better and if we could take her home.

The man casually looked up from what he was doing and said, “oh! that dog, she died. We were not able to help her.”

We were so shocked!  I could hardly breathe. I remember running out of the office and getting back in the car sobbing . That was one of the worst moments of my life.

I often think back on that day and wonder how someone could be so insensitive as to tell a family about the death of their pet in that manner.

We had our beloved Brownie for eight wonderful years.

Copyright © Written by Jessie Cross ~ All rights reserved



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