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Senior Correspondent

A girl and her dog. (Photo courtesy of the writer)

When I was a kid a neighbor's dog lived down the street with a family that just had a new baby. When he meandered up our street, Mother always gave him a treat. As several weeks passed he came to our home more and more, and finally he came to stay. 

Our neighbors felt too busy with their new little one, and thankfully gave the dog to us. That started years of love for my dear Brownie.

He was like my baby. He went with me everywhere, following my bike as I cruised through the neighborhood and the streets of Aberdeen, Wash. Somedays I would ride for hours into town and down side roads, but Brownie never stopped to rest. He was with me every minute. One day Brownie put up with me dressing him. I have an old photo of him wearing a frock with a bow in one ear.

In our neighborhood was a big gully where all of the kids would spend hours building forts or playing in the stream that ran for blocks. One day I remember a big dog ventured into the area and was chasing Brownie through the woods. We kids were terrified. Somehow, Brownie got away, but I still remember the terror we felt.

When the World War II came, Dad was called back into the Navy, and Brownie moved with us to Alameda, Calif., where Dad was stationed. My folks rented our big home in Aberdeen and found a small one in Alameda to buy as Grandpa went to live with a relative for the war's duration and my brother Bernard had also been called into the service.

Brownie was a big comfort to me in a strange city. I missed all the friends I had grown up with, but Brownie was always there to meet me when I arrived home. All went well for all of us the two years we were in Alameda. Brownie had to be confined to a fenced yard, but I still had my bike and when I got home we would go out riding and visiting all my new friends.

The war ended and back home to Aberdeen we went. I'm sure Brownie was glad to be home again and able to run the neighborhood without danger. Everything pretty much went on as before, but Brownie was slowing down. My last two years of high school would soon be completed, but Mother and Dad loved Brownie also, and he would be with them when I went off to college.

A year into college the dreaded phone call came. My dear Brownie had died. I remember the house mother came to my room where I was crying. She thought a member of my family had died. And yes, that was true. I can still think of Brownie with love in my heart!

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