In 1976, Greg and I scraped every penny we had and bought an old sea captain's house, circa 1902. The down payment alone almost killed us. If you see pictures of us from back then, you can tell we probably missed a meal or two. (I'll never see that kind of skinny again. LOL)
Times were hard but we didn't care. We were newly married and having the time of our lives, a grand adventure in a strange new land called Texas.
But Christmas was right around the corner and we both knew there wouldn't be any Christmas presents under the tree that year. (I'll tell you about that magic tree in a future post.)
Greg knew I was very lonely in Texas. I didn't know anyone. I hadn't yet learned to drive. And our families were far away. I was miserable.
Worse than that, we were dog-less!
There's something about being young that makes you believe that anything is possible. Make no mistake, we were poor. And any reasonable person knows that you don't get a dog if you can barely afford yourself. But it just wasn't home without a dog, so we scraped up the ten dollars for the pound fee and went to the local shelter.
The pound was horrific. It was dirty and cramped and it was a fair bet that hardly any animal got out of there alive. I clung to Greg, afraid to touch anything, it was so gross. And then I came across two little puppies with pushed in noses.
One was in the water dish, but the other one came up to us right away. "That one," I told Greg. She's the one.
We took her home and I wanted with all my heart to believe she would turn into a German shepherd. In the early 70s there was a tv show called Run, Joe, Run, about a German shepherd wrongly accused of a crime. I wanted a dog just like Joe.
Being a girl dog, I called my puppy, Joey.
It turned out she wasn't a German shepherd at all, but too late, the name stuck.
Here's a picture of Joey all grown up. That's Chicago snow in that picture.
Greg has bought me many beautiful things over the years but my favorite gift of all was a ten dollar dog called Joey. It was a lot of money back then, especially if you didn't have any to spare. But Joey was worth every penny. She made us a family. And I was never lonely again.
So that's my best gift. What's yours?