Submitted by Marilyn McIntosh
From the time I was 2 yrs old until the time I was 18 years old, we had a little Heinz 57 “mutt” named Nipper. He was my babysitter and my best buddy. He started out with a curly tail that he promptly broke in the screen door. He went everywhere with me: to school, to friends’ homes, and especially to Prisoners Lake in Devou Park. If I managed to walk alone, my mom would send him to get me for supper. I can’t remember a day without him.
He protected all of our animals and was kind to the whole crew; he played with the cats and my chameleon, Frisky. Mom made Frisky his own open window terrarium. He had climbing branches and could play with leaves and rocks. What I remember most about Frisky is when he jumped on Nipper’s back and rode around the house and yard. Frisky never even attempted to run away.
Nipper’s favorite activity involved chasing cars; we could not break him of this habit: he received several broken legs, bumps, bruises, and vet visits. In the neighborhood, he was known for getting rid of moles, mice, and other pests. We received calls every week for his form of pest control. I know that the neighborhood loved him as much as we did.
His best friend Cricket, our fifty-five pound cat, was learning to chase cars. Wisely, he stopped. They spent their days in the back yard cuddled together. Nipper passed away when he was 18 years old, and Cricket never recovered from the loss. Nipper was buried in the backyard where they spent all of their time. Unfortunately, Cricket dug him up three times; eventually Dad built a little area to cover him. Cricket lay on that spot until he passed away as well. They were friends to the end.
I have always loved animals, and my love all began with Nipper.