Sunday Salon ~ June 22, 2008

This weekend has found me reading “Where The Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls.  The last and first time I read this book was back in 1984 when I was a fourth grader.  I can’t remember if it was required reading for class or if I had ordered it from the Scholastic Book Fair and read it on my own, but I do know that I absolutely loved it.  That’s proving true this time around too.  I find myself remembering what is about to happen in the next few pages when my memory is jarred by a passage and it’s the coolest thing.  Billy, Old Dan & Little Ann are like old friends I haven’t seen in ages and I feel like a little girl again and I’m following them around Billy’s folks land in the Ozarks of Oklahoma.  Watching them go on their night time hunts and playing down on the riverbank below their home is as exciting as it was the first time. 
         
I’m actually reading the same copy that I read those many years ago and I laugh every time I come across a word that has been underlined in pencil.  When I put a book down for the day, I would underline the word I was to start back up with when it was time to get back to reading.  My fourth grade handwriting is on the inside cover showing my name, teacher’s name and my phone number (in case I lost the book it could be returned to me). 
As a child and again as an adult I am the proud owner of a beautiful silver Cocker Spaniel.  Lightening struck twice with me and I feel so blessed to have loved twice when it comes to dogs.  Growing up my dog’s name was Maxwell and he was my best friend.  I could tell him anything and he would listen with all ears and heart.  I got him in the summer of 1981 and he lived until the summer of 1993.  He was the family dog but I believe (and my dad backs me up on this one) that because of my pleading and carrying on for a dog like Lady in “Lady & The Tramp” for a couple of years, my parents finally gave in and we got Maxwell.  He was the best, most adorable doggie.
Now as an adult I have the shear luck of being the proud owner and “mother” to Rocky.  He’s the most beautiful, intelligent, funny dog I’ve ever known.  My husband and I love him and because we don’t have children he fills a lot of shoes in our home.  Dog, confidant, child, protector, playmate, teddy bear, and couch pillow.  We got him from an ad in the Little Rock, Arkansas newspaper when we were living in Memphis, TN five years ago.  We drove two and a half hours to a little double-wide trailer in Cabot, AR and there was our little Rocky.  We bought him for a whopping $125.00 (same price my parents paid for Maxwell back in 1981) and took him home with us.  Now he is a world traveling dog with Okinawa, Japan as an address.
As I have been reading “Where The Red Fern Grows”, there have been moments when I think about the fact that Rocky will join Maxwell in time and won’t be with us anymore.  In those sad moments, I hug Rocky and tell him I love him with all my heart.  Below is a picture of Rocky when we brought him home on Memorial Day weekend 2003.  He was eight weeks old.
8 week old Rocky, May 2003
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7 thoughts on “Sunday Salon ~ June 22, 2008

  1. Lisa says:

    Awwwhhh, Rocky is adorable! I haven’t thought of Where the Red Fern Grows in decades! I can’t remember when I read it, but I know I did. Wow – that’s an ooold memory you made me tap into! LOL

  2. Ann Darnton says:

    I am sitting here green with envy. I would love a dog, but am out so much of the time that it just doesn’t seem fair. I love the idea of you going back to your old books and still getting as much pleasure from them as you did the first time. Not all books merit that. I’m glad you were lucky with this one.

  3. Melissa Sfida-Allen says:

    Don’t say Rocky won’t be with you always, that just reminds me that Marley won’t be with us always either. I don’t like the thought of that…Wishing them both LONG lives…and hell, us too.

  4. unfinishedperson says:

    Surprisingly, I’ve never read the book you mention. I’ve read lots of “dog” books, like Big Red and the like, but never this one. I might have to check it out sometime…Rocky looks like a beautiful dog, by the way. What does he look like now?

  5. Planet Books says:

    Lisa ~ Thanks for the comment. This morning I finished the book as well as a box of tissues. I’ll post my review this week.

    Ann ~ It wasn’t till I was in a job closer to home so I could go home at lunch, that we got Rocky. We’ve been living overseas and I don’t work now so that’s been nice for him that I’m home a lot. When we move back to the States next year I worry about the long hours he’ll be home alone.

    Sfida ~ Hey stranger!! How is my big guy? Please give him a huge hug and kiss for me and I will do the same for you with Rocky. We just have to love everyday while we have them with us.

    Unfinished ~ Thanks so much for stopping by! I will be including a pic of Rocky as an adult dog in my book review post of “Where the Red Fern Grows” this week. Be sure to check back. I promise that he’s just as adorable and even more beautiful!!

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