This entry is a complete switch from the usual content.  For a few days I’ll keep as a post, then transfer to one of the pages.  Thought it might be a good break.

A few days ago while thinking about an upcoming blog entry, the idea of writing about dogs in my life popped into my head. Most everyone has a dog story from childhood so this will likely be no different.

My childhood dog was named Frosty. Frosty arrived in early to mid-December. I was about 8 years old.

Her name came from the snow outside and her sort of whitish fur. Her Heritage? Mixed to say the least, and certainly no discernible breed. Medium size with a disproportionately large body and disproportionately small head, which made keeping a collar on her next to impossible. A couple of paw swipes and the collar was off.

Previous home? The dog pound. And like most pound dogs, Frosty was eternally grateful for her new home. I know that feeling.

Of all the dogs I’ve ever met, she might be the smartest. No, it’s not because she was my dog and my colleague for many years. She earned her reputation for being smart.

She’d walk anywhere without a leash and obey a variety of commands. She was also very sneaky and would go into stealth mode moving around the house. When outside she met her obligation as a dog by pretending to chase squirrels and rabbits. These efforts seemed more for show than anything serious.

She was great at keeping secrets. I would tell her my innermost thoughts and she never disclosed them to anyone. A couple of traits I remember most.

She was great at warming the bed.  My room was a dormer with no separate heat duct. My father liked to turn down the heat at night – and I mean way down – so my room was always chilly in the winter. Frosty would come to the rescue, sleeping at the foot of the bed and serving as a wonderful second blanket.

Feeding time was also a memorable experience. The kitchen was perpendicular to a hallway with a wooden floor. Her food came from a can – I mean, who knew then about gourmet dog food?

With the sound of the electric can opener, Frosty would race down the hall. She’d try to turn into the kitchen but always slid past the opening. Then, she’d turn around and would race into the kitchen. The routine was always the same and always fun to watch.

Frosty lived 15 or so years. I was out of college and married when she finally succumbed to cancer. I suppose in terms of dog stories, Frosty was nothing special. She was a mutt who hung around some kid and then became a companion to the kid’s father when the kid went off to college.

There’ve been other dogs in our life after Frosty. Ralph, a St. Bernard, was our fraternity mascot in undergrad. In Michigan, our neighbor’s dog, Mitzi, was crazy about broccoli. In California, Jeanie was a wonderful neighbor. In Charlotte we’ve been fortunate to be occasional caretakers for two Havanese – first Max, then Rocket. All the dogs have been fun.

But to me, Frosty was special. More than just a dog. Frosty was a friend. Frosty was someone I could talk to. Someone whose situation I could relate to. I miss her dearly. Thanks for everything Frosty.