We have many pictures of the past that I’ve shared. Some of them are wonderful memory provoking pictures. Great pictures today of my father and mother. Together, with their west highland terrier (Fred and Jessie). There are also pictures of them separate of each other. There is a picture of my sister and I sitting on the couch in Vernon Hills Illinois a suburb of Chicago. A couple of really old pictures, one with my father’s handwriting on it, and the word Grandpa. Not sure if that is his handwriting, or frankly my grandfather’s handwriting. They were both very similar regarding handwriting. Either way the picture is old, probably from the 1930’s or possibly the 1940’s.
The picture that impacted me the most is the picture of the large dog. It is a picture of Aunt Phoebe Kuma, our Newfoundland. I don’t know if our family could have had a better dog. She took care of my little sister. She and my mom argued over who was in charge for nearly eight years. She was a great dog and managed to create a relationship with each of us. For my closest aged sister and I, she was our pal. For my little sister, she was a second mother. For my mother, she was a vexing creature, Phoebe (named for the bird) was a master food thief. She could find a way to get to the food no matter where my mother put it. Kuma is Japanese for black bear, which Pheobe resembled more.
I don’t recall why we called her Aunt. Auntie is often used in Hawaii to denote an older person (or Uncle) as a sign of respect. I guessed when she joined our family, Aunt was the sign of respect. She was a big puppy at ten weeks. For the next 7 and a ½, she ruled our house. The day she died was a traumatic day, doubly so for me, as I was at work when she passed away. I never got to say goodbye. It is one of the reasons that I believe in the rainbow bridge. I want to see Phoebe, MacGregor, Gwen, Fran, Frosty, Roscoe and Anna waiting at the bridge. I love dogs. There have been many that have joined my life and made things better. I loved each of them uniquely and love them still. Dogs are amazing creatures with so much to give!