I was probably about 2 ½ when Mom decided it was
time for me to have another dog, a playmate.  I
remember going to the Humane Society in Detroit with
Mom and my grandparents.  My grandfather had a
1950 dark blue Ford.  I can still remember the car
well--right down to the pin-stripped seat covers.  I
rode in the back seat all the way home holding Skippy,
a black lab mix puppy.  Skippy became my new best
friend, but not for very long before tragedy struck.  A
few weeks after Skippy came to live with us, he
started to get sick.  I can remember going with
Grandpa and Grandma to take him to the vet.  I can
still visualize the vet's office.  He lived in a really
large house on top of a hill with a long driveway.  At
least this is how I remember it.  His veterinary
practice was based right out of his home.  I remember
standing there trying to see what was happening on that
table.  He gave us pills to give to Skippy, but he didn't
get any better.  We took him back again a few days
later.  This time I was told Skippy wouldn't be going
home with us.  I remember crying for him all the way
home.  Years later I found out from my mother that
Skippy had distemper.  Back then, a dog with distemper
was handed a death sentence.  There was just no cure
for it.  I thank God today for all the research that has
made an otherwise incurable disease no longer an
unhappy ending.
I deeply regret that no pictures
were ever taken of Skippy.  He
was only with us for a few days.