Monday, August 3, 2009

My love for dogs, Chapter 1

Thanks to my cousins, I got a huge file of old photos taken by my grandparents dating from the 1940s to about 1970. They always had their photos made into slides so they had been in slide carousels, unseen for many years. I've only begun to sift through them, but this is one of the first that I stumbled across. This couple is my great-aunt and uncle, Edwin and Earlene Miller.
Aunt Earlene and Uncle Ed were a very unique couple. Though perhaps not formally educated, both were very knowledgeable and well-read. Uncle Ed came to the US alone from Austria as a young boy around 1900 and grew up to be a biologist for the National Indian Service, living thoughout the southwest on or near reservations. Aunt Earlene was tiny little thing, never breaking 5 foot or 100 lbs and was a voracious reader. Both of them loved kids, but never could have any of their own. Like many of us, they filled their hearts and homes with dogs. Uncle Ed loved big dogs and always wanted a German Shepherd, but Aunt Earlene liked dogs she could carry, so Chihuahua was their breed of choice. Together, they raised them and showed them in confomation and obedience. Uncle Ed even gave one of his favorite obedience dogs some schutzhund training (this is given to attack and protection dogs) and the little guy turned out to be a pretty good tracker. But perhaps the thing I remember most about them was going into their dark and cool spare bedroom and pulling the old musty suitcase from under the bed. This case was full of the most beautiful dog ribbons and rossettes that I had ever seen, and I played for hours at pretend dog shows dragging my stuffed dog by a string and "winning" first place.
As they grew old, they got a bit eccentric. Uncle Ed was always making some electronic something that we were all afraid would catch fire, and they ate "hippy" food... like granola and aloe... long before anyone else ever heard of it. But until the very end, they loved one another and they loved dogs. You can't beat that.

1 comment:

  1. Great posts Lori! You are blessed to have these pictures of your family, and more importantly, the memories. Dogs rule.