A kid never forgets her first dog or the first time she pees herself in public.
I got my first dog in my sixth year. It was also the year I couldn't get to the outhouse in time to relieve myself and found myself standing in a puddle of wee, in my best dress, in front of granny's house.
This is first memory of life on this planet.
My mom named my dog Penny. She always gave our dogs plain girl names, not like mine which was Rosalie. Why, I always wondered, did the dogs get better names than I did.
Penny was an adult Golden Retriever we got from one of those families that dumps their dogs on a farm when they are too much trouble. She was an excellent, good natured dog, as all Goldens are -- unlike Labs, mentioning no names Finnigan.
She was the color of sunshine and she lit up my lonely little existence.
My Uncle Vern used to hook her up to my wagon and troll me around the property. I felt like a little princess in second hand shorts.
Trouble with Penny was she liked to chase cars, not recklessly, fairly carefully.
Unfortunately, there was a neighborhood hooligan who lived down the country road and he was always speeding past our house trying to outrace our lovely dog.
Then, like some kind of Stephen King character, he began to swerve a little, trying to graze her with his car.
Then, maniacally one day, he decided to hit her.
I was coming back from the strawberry patch when I saw the activity in front of the house and I saw my lovely playmate. She looked like she was sleeping.
Gramps scooped me up before I could get a proper look at what that asshole did to my dog.
I swear to God, if I were older, I would have gone to that hooligan's house and relieved myself on his stupid head instead of in my pants.
Perhaps the trauma of that incident explains why I wet the bed until I was ten.