I think I was born with a love for animals, since I begged for a dog from the time I was a very young girl. Brownie was my first dog. I was only about six or seven years old. Actually, I think it was on my seventh birthday that Brownie came into my life. My Dad worked driving a Telephone Company truck in the Bronx, New York City. We lived an hour or so commute away. For my birthday, on his lunch hour, Daddy answered an ad for a Beagle pup, named "Queenie" that someone was giving away. The pup spent the afternoon in the Telephone Company truck, then came home at night as my birthday surprize!
I was so excited and thrilled! I was allowed to name the new addition, since she was my birthday present. Well, you might think that "Brownie" is a typical, unoriginal name that a seven-year-old might give to a brown dog. However, the real thought behind her name was that I had just joined the Girl Scouts as a Brownie! So, Brownie she was! Of course, it helped that she was brown, too!
As with all our guys, Brownie had plenty of nick names, including "Bunna Dee" and "der Bunna". I wish I could remember more detail as I write this. She was a sweet, sweet dog. She definately had the Beagle good nature and love of running in the yard. She was given to my father as a pure bred Beagle, but we always believed she was a mix. Loved her all the same!
Based on my earliest memories of Brownie, she was a saint to put up with a small child! I used to try to brush her teeth, make her "wear" doll clothes. I even decided I would "marry" her and staged a mock ceremony (using toilet paper as my wedding veil... weird kid, I know!)
There are always dog stories that stick in your memory. Once, my parents had been doing yard work and when done, someone left a pair of work gloves on either handle of the wheel barrow so they could dry. From the front door, the wheel barrow was hidden behind a shrub and all you could see were the gloves sticking out to the side of the bush. From the doorway, it looked like someone was reaching out from the bushes. Well, Brownie went crazy when she saw this, barking and growling and really carrying on. No one could figure out her problem, till we realized it was the "hands" in the bushes. We never forgot that story!
Another similar incident happenned the year that Mom bought Dad a dresser top mirror mounted on a wooden base. It was set under the Christmas tree with a red bow, but not wrapped. Brownie saw her reflection in the mirror on the floor and again went crazy growling at the mirror. It was too funny, and only happenned that once!
Brownie loved Christmas. Every holiday, we would put a big red ribbon ("bibben") on her collar. She would get all kinds of treats like chewy sticks ("louie licks") and biscuits ("bonies") in her stocking! Also, each christmas, Brownie got a new basket. The basket was always kept in the living room in front of the fireplace hearth. What a great place for a Beagle to curl up!
Brownie was with me all my growing up years. When I left for college, I think I missed her most of all! Every time I see the dog food commercial with the pup and young girl, then the scenes as the girl grows up and the dog ages... I think of Brownie and me. Brownie passed on at a ripe old age, the year after I graduated college and the year before I got married. Her passing marked the end of an era, and my
transition from child to adult.
Now she waits at the Rainbow Bridge. In the years after Brownie, my parents and my husband and I have lost many good dogs as time marches on. I like to think of them all together now at the "Bridge". I sure do hope to see them all again some day!