The first dog we had as a family was a yellow lab named Hank. Here is a photo of him as a pup, taken in 1970, in what looks like our family kitchen. I had lots of pets growing up; hamsters, Guinea pigs, mice and garter snakes. But one can never forget their first dog. I certainly don't.
My Dad enjoyed duck hunting and he chose this breed since they were suppose to be good retrievers. (In hindsight he probably wished he had gone for a Golden Retriever, but Mom wasn't keen on the long fur). I have fond memories of my Dad trying to train Hank to develop some retrieval skills, using an orange nylon stuffed bag. He'd work with him for hours tossing the bag into the lake or into the woods.
Hank was really really good at bringing the bag back and in the real duck hunting world, bringing the duck back. Unfortunately he was not good at what they call the "release". He just would not let go of the darn thing. Plain and simple. Took a lot of pulling and wrangling to get him to give up the goods. It made my Dad frustrated and made for very holey ducks at the dinner table. (Every duck comes with holes from the buckshot but Hank always added his own "touch").
I do hope to see Hank on the "other side" someday. Hope to see all of the dogs that have been in my life. My hamster Hercules who bit me one too many times? Well....not so much.
What childhood memories do you have of your first dog? Or first cat?