My Dog Named Fred

I was 8 years old when we adopted our first dog, Fred. He was said to be a Beagle/German Shorthaired Pointer mix. He was white with black spots and weighed about 50 pounds. We had many adventures together. This cold weather has reminded me of a scary wintertime adventure we had. (This summer, remind me to share my scary summertime adventure with Fred.)

Due to a snowstorm, we had a day off from school. What 8-year-old doesn't want to play in the snow with her dog? Before going outside to play with Fred, I had to bundle up.

First, the footwear. I had flimsy white rubber boots that were worn over sneakers.  Mothers across Pennsylvania thought that putting empty bread bags over sneakers would make them slide right into the boots. Children across Pennsylvania wished that were true. It felt like your ankle would snap as you stuffed your bread bag sneakers into the boots. Next came the gloves, the snow pants, the coat, the hat, and the scarf.

Before I continue this story, please know that my mother was a wonderful loving person. Her role in this story may have you thinking differently, but that would be a mistake.

Fred trotted and I waddled all bundled up into the snowy backyard. Our backyard was unfenced and backed up to woods. It was beautiful. I kicked up the snow and Fred would catch it in his mouth. Fred started jumping all around me and I jumped with him. Fred grabbed my bouncing scarf which then cinched tightly around my neck like a calf being lassoed. I couldn't stop him, I couldn't speak, and I could barely breathe. I waved my arms around. My mom waved back at me from the kitchen window as she talked on the phone. I saw my brother at the basement door and tried to get his help. He pointed and laughed. Brothers, am I right?

I ended up falling down and being treated like a tug toy. After what seemed like an eternity, Fred tired and let go of the scarf. Needless to say, I stormed inside to give my mother and brother the what for.

I wasn't upset with Fred. I certainly never wore a scarf around him or any other dog again. Consider your winter clothing carefully when playing with your dog!

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