“Fred” Proves to be an Unlikely Best Friend

People may call them “man’s best friend.” However, women find these dogs quite admirable. Children grow up with animals of all sorts as pets. However, as it stands the American Kennel Club (AKC) has a registered 150 dogs, and there are currently 164 dog breeds known in the world. Each person goes out looking for the perfect animal. When looking for a dog, amazingly enough, it depends on the five basic W’s of Journalism: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

For me, it was all about “What?” “What did you do?” I grew up in a home terrified of dogs, so when my oldest daughter, who was eight at the time, received a black and tan miniature dachshund, I was not happy. Now, I know what you are thinking, it is a dachshund. How bad can it be? The worst thing the dog can do is leave a hickey on you. But all dogs have teeth, those teeth can penetrate skin, any bite can be painful, and can turn into a very nasty infection. So when Scott brought Jess this animal, she played happily with the dog, while we had a conference in the kitchen complete with all the improper language a child should not hear.

But as it went, Scott grew up where every child should have the opportunity to love an animal. He had several. To him, animals and people shared some sort of secret bond together. An animal would come into the home, and within a matter of days, choose who he or she would be loyal to for all times to come. Through good and bad, your secrets were safe with this unique companion.

After I had gotten past the fact that my daughter’s big green eyes said more than her verbal begging, the why was more than I could resist.  Henry Patton was his name for AKC purposes, Jess chose Henry, and Scott’s love of history combined gave the name of the new member of our household.  If you are an owner of a dog, then you will understand the dog starts off with one name, but within days, he accumulates one after another.

It’s identical to where the dog sleeps. You buy the nice pillow and set the dog’s bed, as if it were fit for a king, but once the dog chooses his/her master or in this case, mistress. Everything just seems to change. Henry was a gift for my daughter, but he bonded with the least likely of persons, me. Now, I never liked the name Henry; I’ve always called him Fred. He sleeps at the foot of my bed every night, unless I am sick; then he sleeps underneath my bed.

Fred is the keeper of secrets, the one friend who will always agree with me and does what I want to do, when I want to do it, and goes where I want to go.  I guess that is why I’d rather keep him around than any other member of the family.  It’s strange after all this time I still wonder how Fred and I became so close. I could speculate, but I don’t think I will. I think I will let that be our secret.

Just thought I would drop you a few lines before Fred and I take a walk.

Published April 19, 2012, Ruston Daily Leader, The Park Bench

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