The original baby of the family

His name was Mr. Sac (aka Strategic Air Command).  He was awesome.  He was ornery.  He was 100% basset hound.

His ears, absorbent chamois mopping up Alpo and water.  His belly, inches from the ground.  Those feet, monstrously huge and quite often muddy.  That breath, capable of melting eyebrows off a person’s face from 5 feet away.

He was a dog of the 70’s.  A time when you purchased Hertz flea collars and Gravy Train dog food from the grocery store.  Rabies shots were boostered once every decade.  Visits to the vet did not require the cost to be spread over three credit cards.

As soon as children were added to my parents’ young family, he was relocated from the sofa to the backyard.  Dana and I, both strangely put off with playing with dolls and other girly toys, often used Mr. Sac as our very own doll.  He would sit patiently as we dressed him in different outfits and fashioned cheeky hats made of pie tins and string.  He totally made it work.

Ironically, I wasn’t the attentive pet owner I am now.  Mr. Sac had his life, I had mine.  We coexisted and I loved him but when you’re so young, you take it for granted that things simply last forever.  He died after a long and adventurous life filled with equal parts mischief and sloth.

We buried him in the woods of Wilmington, OH on a plot of land we used to play and explore in.  I believe it was my mom and sister who had the lovely idea of planting tulip bulbs on the grave.  Our neighbors from Ohio still write to us every so often and always end their letters with the same update:  the tulips still bloom every year where we last said goodbye to Mr. Sac.