*I barely remember our dog at that time. Pepper had “fits.” Three or four times a day he would suddenly fall over, his body going into convulsions for a few minutes. When it was over, he would get back up, wagging his tail in anticipation as if he was wondering what was going to happen next. As far as he was concerned, nothing unusual had happened. Unfortunately, he had one of his “fits” when he was crossing the street in front of a car. The driver didn’t have any chance of stopping. I found out later that this was probably best for him because every time he had one of his “fits” they would last just a little longer and the convulsions more severe.
To be honest, I kind of liked our neighbor’s dog better than Pepper. I guess I should have felt guilty about that, but Pepper didn’t really do anything interesting. But Rex, a big German Shepard, ate ants. He and I would spend a lot of time playing in the front yard when my brothers and sister were at school. He would follow me up and down the front sidewalk as I pointed to ants that were traveling across the cement. I would point, Rex would lick, the ant would disappear, leaving a wet spot in its place.
Rex made a good playmate, but wasn’t much of a bodyguard. On one occasion he and I were playing our hunt and lick game and three older girls walked by. They started talking to me, talking about how cute I was. Hey! I was four-years-old, so I was still cute and cuddly. Anyway, I enjoyed talking to them until they began talking about taking me with them. Of course they were kidding, but in my four-year-old mind convinced me they were serious, that they were really going to take me away. One of the girls made it worse by pulling on my arm. Rex stood there wagging his tail and I began to cry. My tears had the desired affect—they felt bad, let me go and tried to comfort me. When they left, Rex looked at me as if he was wondering what we were going to do next.