They lived in a little red house and (we) would visit him daily which made us happy and he seemed just as happy being there. Maybe he didn’t miss five young children running around. The Brooks, the family that adopted him only had two. When they moved to a farm a short time later it's ok my parents reassured us, a farm is what a cat likes room to roam. I remember being very sad when Sir Charles moved. Shortly after, my allergies got even worse and I needed to go for weekly allergy shots. The only thing good about the shots was I got to spend time with my mom, which seemed special as her attention was otherwise divided with my siblings and other things that busied her.
A year or so after Sir Charles departure, I saved up all of my money and we got a dog that after some debate was named O’hara. She was a white toy poodle the only breed the allergist suggested we get. At first, she had a shaky beginning. When we had had her only two weeks, my youngest brother, Pat who was two at the time fell on her and broke her leg. Luckily she recovered quite nicely and ended up living a long life.
My father used to call her the $75 scavenger as she liked to eat the scraps that fell from the table and just about anything else she could get her hands (mouth) on, including the “nappies” of the baby next door. Bryn, their youngest had ‘failure to thrive’ and the pediatrician told them to save her diapers so that they could be analyzed. They were a proper family and horrified that O’hara had managed to get into their garage and eat the diapers before they could be brought in to the doctor’s office.
That same year she also ate Pat's Easter basket. My youngest brother (Pat) convinced the ‘Easter Bunny to hide our baskets as this ‘is how it was supposed to be done’ he told my mom, not left on the kitchen table. So that year The Bunny hid the baskets in various parts of the house. After the baskets were hidden and we were asleep for the night, Ohara made herself busy managing to eat all of one basket, unfortunately Pat’s. Pat, a sugar fiend and a lover of holidays was nearly inconsolable that Easter morning even though the rest of us had divided up our own for him. "Why did O’hara choose my basket?" (In retrospect one has to wonder if it was karmic payback for him breaking her leg.) . We closely watched O'hara as it's been told that dogs aren't to eat chocolate. Just like with the nappies she was fine though. (Faring even better than Pat.)
O’hara liked my mom the best. Not only because she was the one who fed her but they were kindred souls. Both intelligent with a vengeful side to them. (My mom tells the story of how when she was five she chased Jerry Hickey around the neighborhood with a hammer after he knocked a stone out of her ring. She remarks that he was a heavy boy but luckily that day was able to outrun her.) My Dad it seemed was often yelling at O’hara for this or that screaming “damn dog!” Ohara one day got her own revenge on him placing one of her treasures on his pillow. She also insisted on perching herself on the top of the couch in the living room which used to irk him. It was a room we weren't to use unless we had company but O’hara would sit there each day perched on the top of the couch with her small head peaking through the curtains awaiting our return. She would quickly pull away when we would drive up but not before my Dad saw her screaming that damn dog! Both were leery of the other having met their match.
It wasn’t until years later as an adult that I got another dog. Not until Oscar showed up one cold blustery morning at our home in Cleveland. Landing in our garage after Liam (my son) forgot to close the garage door the night before after taking out the garbage. Shivering and starved I brought the dog in and then Liam named him Oscar based on a character from Curb Your Enthusiasm TV show.
As I write this today, I have to wonder if Oscar is O’hara reincarnated. Liam, who isn't unlike his grandfather seems to have the same type of love/hate relationship with Oscar that my Dad had with Ohara. Oscar has managed to poop (and pee) a few times in Liam's room and Liam has been known to scream, damn dog! when this happens...