Saturday, August 4, 2012

If Not For a Dog's Nose

Follow Dog Home coauthor Samantha Walsh with Beverly

Three years ago this week, on the first Saturday of August, Beverly led us back to the exact place where our journey with dogs began.  Were it not for her nose, who knows if we have all that we do today?  By that I mean a critically acclaimed book, a Facebook page with nearly 8,000 fans, and the validation of the family dog as something greater than the family pet.

To bring you up to speed:  I moved my family to Wellesley, Massachusetts in August 2009.  I took my German Shepherd, Beverly, for a walk down Atwood Street, and she started sniffing around a particular property.  Prior to our arrival in town we'd never been to Wellesley, nor did we know anyone who had lived there.  Return trips to Atwood Street yielded greater curiosity from Beverly's nose, and it piqued my curiosity too.  It turns out the house in particular was briefly my Dad's childhood home.  The discovery of an photo confirmed it.  Dad never knew he lived there.  Neither did we.  Beverly might have known, but who can say for sure?

Walshes return to Atwood Street, 2011.  Left to right: Beverly (dog), Kevin, Bob, Amanda, Jean and Samantha. Annie is the Corgi on Bob and Jean's laps.

Walshes at Atwood Street, 1941.  (Foreground) Dee Dee.  Left to right (back): Elizabeth and Marie Beth (Walsh) Hall.  Elizabeth is holding Bob, Marie Beth is holding Bob's twin, Dick.  Bob is sitting on the exact same spot 70 years apart. 

We went back to the homestead with the blessing of the homeowner, and plunked Dad down on the  front stoop.  We really had come full circle to the place where it all started some 70 years ago.  Dad has seen five wars, and raised 17 dogs with his children and his children's children.  So much has changed.  But one thing never did--a dog's place in the family.  It is the one and only constant in life that we know.  And we wouldn't want it any other way.

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