Today's Adventure: Tomorrow's Memory
Dogs are truly my 1st love, always a part of my life and I have never been without them. My second interest is cars. From the family cars we had growing up, thru the '70s Muscle car era, to modern day cars with the bells and whistles that technology affords, I have never been without a car either. Over the years I have let go of more cars than some folks ever own in a lifetime. Most of the cars came, served their purpose, and went when our needs changed or they were used up. When I look back at the cars I have had, there are a few that I regret having sold. I have come to realize the cars I miss all have one thing in common. Attached to the cars I miss are fond memories of the dog who rode around with me in them.
As a child, I remember, we had the family vehicle, a '67 Mustang Coupe in which we drove when we picked up our new puppy, Judy, a 6 wk old shepherd-mix. My dad's pick of the litter, Judy was the runt, the smallest and I remember on the way home Judy laid down on the back seat between my sister and me and fit perfectly on the narrow strip of light green vinyl stitched in between the dark vinyl panels upon we each sat. Those familiar with the interior of a Mustang know exactly to what I’m referring. Judy grew quickly and was soon never to fit on the seat between us soon. Instead, Judy would leap from side to side on the back seat where my sister and I sat. Judy would stand straddling our legs as she hung her head out the small triangular shaped back window. The memory is as fresh to me still as the air Judy sought to breath. I miss that little '67 Mustang and I miss Judy.
As a young adult on my own, my first dog was Juniper, a Dachshund who tho his legs were short, he was as big as the shepherds and spaniels I had grown up with. Juniper rode with me in a '76 Mustang Cobra. The supped up 351ci engine in that little Mustang was a hoot to drive and Juniper stood, his hind legs in the back with his front feet on the center console beside my right shoulder. I went fast and Juniper held his balance like the Big Kahuna. With the 8 track player fully amped and blasting the soundtrack from the movie Grease, the only 8-track tape I owned, Juniper stood howling along as I sang. We tore up the highways and back roads of Sonoma County. That '76 Mustang we sold is on the short list of cars I wish I still owned and, oh how I miss the less congested roads. But I love the memories of that feisty little Dachshund, Juniper, my first co-pilot.
My next co-pilot was Juno, a black Pug who filled Juniper's paw prints and then some. I had a lot of vehicles during Juno's life span but the one I miss is the '93 GMC Sierra pick-up. Juno, at 8 weeks old fit on my lap between the steering wheel and my legs and tho he out grew it, that was forever his spot. My children were showing horses and we drove all over the state towing a trailer in that faithful truck and Juno went with us, navigating from his place on my lap in the cab of that truck and cheering for the girls from the bleachers in arenas far and near.
My GMC truck wore out and so did Juno, they both left me around the same time but not before we made so many precious memories that bring to my eyes, tears of sadness in missing them but of joy for having lived it.
And now there's Winnie, a little Puggle who not only fills the paw prints of Juniper and builds upon the navigational skills of Juno, but adds to their legacy so many memories of us hiking, doing nose work, and of course traveling. Winnie embodies all the dogs that preceded her and rides with me on road trips making new memories in my '09 Mustang GT/CS.