Jerry's View: Is there a dog heaven?
Mack, my beautiful Border Collie was actually my second dog. I had "Boots" a mutt of mixed breed who we lost in a horrific traffic accident near Astoria, Oregon in 1927. Dad's car was cut in half by a wayward driver, in the rain. Boots was riding with me and my baby sister Norma, in the back seat. The car was cut in two with both halves ending up on the side of the road. The chassis just split, leaving us sprawled up in the back half, unharmed. Mom and dad were up front, also basically unharmed. Boots was gone, never to be found.
Months later we got Mack. A wonder dog who was quite smart. I don't recall how we got him but he was already grown up when he appeared at our door step. In those days, there may have been more stray dogs than people, so it was easy to adopt a pet simply by leaving a dish of food out on the porch. Maybe Mack was a visitor who stayed. We loved him and he loved our stray cat, Nicodemus "cheesebomber". Aptly named as it had the peculiar habit of passing gas on a constant basis, possibly because we often fed it table scraps, including moldy cheese.
I had Mack well into my teen years and moved away to work and get married. I don't know what happened to Mack. Mom and dad took care of him by then but Nicodemus was not so lucky. We entered ourselves in the local pet parade down Vancouver Avenue in 1932. We put a slip knot around Nic's neck and took him along as our pride and joy. Mack was busy hunting gophers in the woods across the street from our house or we would have taken him too.
The parade had barely begun. We were in the middle of the pack, practically dragging Nic through the streets. Our slip knot turned out to be a poor idea. We did not realize we were strangling the cat with every tug on the leash. If there was a prize for dumb, we would have won. By the end of the parade, Nic was nearly blue in the face. If he didn't have fur, we likely would have noticed it. He was wobbly, but okay and deserted us the moment we got back home. I don't think he came back. He probably found another house where the kids were smarter than us.
I got married in 1942 and moved into a small house in McMicken Heights. One afternoon a wonderful Collie showed up in our neighborhood. My wife Lee was a sucker for a hungry dog. She put out a bowl of food. The dog stayed. We named him "Skipper" until she gave birth to McTavish and other pups a few months later. Someone who previously owned the dog must have known and dropped her off in our neighborhood. Skipper and McTavish were our two dogs until we moved to Beverly Park. We could not take them both. We opted to give Mctavish away to a neighbor in McMicken and kept Skipper.