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Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

Walking With Jackie the Ripper

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Most folks call Jackie a "wienie dog" and that's fine with me; given the chance my little dachshund sure can put the wienies away.

One of my small boy friends, an unusually creative child, came up with the unique idea of dressing Jackie up at Halloween as a hot dog. He described in great detail how we would make a bun out of cotton, fasten it on her with white duct tape and liberally apply mustard over the entire ensemble. He asked, "Would that be cute or what? I'll lead her in the parade and I just know we'd win the prize."

Unfortunately Jackie violently refused to cooperate in the endeavor, snapping and growling all over the place, and my little friend had to go as a scarecrow. He blamed Jackie when he didn't even get honorable mention in the paper. He wouldn't pet her for a long time.

This is the same little boy I have mentioned before; the one who told me Jackie was going to explode all over the kitchen if she ate one bite too much. He is highly imaginative and I love him to pieces.

Do you remember back in the infant days of television when Art Linkletter had a segment on his show called "Kids say the darndest things?" After working for several years in the field of education and raising a child of my own I am prepared to give personal testimony to the truth of that statement.

In the late 50s my husband and I bought a small farm over in Oregon County, Mo., very humble and affordable, which we used for a period of time as a weekend retreat. Working in the city was nerve-wracking even 50 years ago and we really enjoyed the little house which had no modern amenities at all. Not even electricity for a period of time.

Now our daughter, Patti, accustomed as she was to the niceties of city life such as indoor plumbing and wall switches, was appalled at the old outhouse with its spiders, wasps and lizards, to say nothing of the fact it was located a good distance from her bedroom.

One evening we were relaxing around the rusty old wood stove -- a relic we had recovered from someone's junk pile -- soaking up the heat and basking in the peace and quiet, while the oil lamp gave off a cozy glow. We noticed that Patti, just 6 years old, was unusually quite for several minutes and finally, with quivering lips and tears perilously close to falling, she softly asked, "Daddy, are we real poor now?"

Daddy hastened to assure her that we still knew where our next meal was coming from. Before long, civilization reached Holly Hill Farm in the form of a deep well and an accompanying bathroom.