Musing with Max

Musing with Max

March 29, 2012

My Life in Dog years-part 1

When I arrived on this earth Pichi had been a part of the family by a bunch of years so he was as much of a sibling to me as my brother who preceded me by a year and a half. In fact this picture was taken way before I was even a gleam in my father's eye. He was a mutt. Part Welsh Corgi, therefore the short legs and stocky body, and part who knows what else. I remember my aunt always saying that he looked like the RCA dog
frankly, other than the coloring I fail to see the resemblance, although for years I thought the RCA dog's name was Pichi. I'm sure my brother and I drove him crazy. I remember trying to ride him like a horse, he let me. I remember one very rainy day when we were stuck inside the house and were bored with our toys we decided to construct Pichi a dog house made from some cardboard boxes we found. We set out to put this wonder of modern architecture together making sure that we cut out windows and such, then we put it over him. We forgot to cut out a door and the poor thing couldn't get out which he seemed to really want to do since he just fit in it and was probably suffering from claustrophobia. We wouldn't let him so he walked around in this box with windows until my mother appeared and rescued him from his prison. He continued to play with us and we weren't allowed to put him back in "the house". He clearly had infinite patience. Our neighbor down the street gave me a puppy once from the huge litter his dog had given birth to. We named him Campeon. He was white with some black markings and being a puppy was as cute as could be. Two days later my brother found an abandoned puppy in the corner who looked exactly like Campeon but his tail had been chopped off. He brought him home and we named him Mochito (Stumpy in Spanish). Now Pichi had to deal with these two new additions to the family. Again he showed infinite patience. When their three food bowls were put out Campeon, who was very feisty, would step under Pichi's legs and eat from his bowl ignoring his own. Pichi would step back and wait until he was finished and then he would eat. Campeon would nip bite the ankles of all who came to visit so one day my Dad went out with him and returned alone. He had given the little monster back. A couple of weeks later when the cleaning lady was cleaning and had left the door open Mochito ran out never to be seen again. Pichi was king of the castle once again. (It's a good thing, those two were Great Danes). When we left Cuba we took him to stay at the neighbor's house across the street; I asked why Pichi wasn't coming with us and was told that he couldn't come on this plane but Maria Luisa would send him over soon. I remember sitting on the back stoop of our little house after school every day wondering if each delivery truck that went by was bringing Pichi. Finally after several months I asked when he would be arriving. My Mother looked at me and said "oh honey, Pichi died."  My heart sank, I didn't understand. I was 7, he was 17. My first brush with doggy mortality.

Many years later when I was taking flamenco dancing we had a recital and I performed in a number from a Spanish operetta called "Las Leandras" and I found out who he was named after: "El Pichi"

it means "the gigolo".

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