We had two dogs, Lucky and King. Lucky ran and played and stayed in the house just as his mother had before him. He would sit and beg and so cute, he too was one of the kids. Charles built a barn for the chickens and ducks we had acquired. We dug a hole and put black plastic tarp down so it would hold water. The hole was about three feet deep and three or four feet across. We had straw in boxes for the chickens to roost and a tall fence around the perimeter of the east side of the barn. When the small pool would get dirty we'd have to drain it and add more water. We had to do this often.
Two weeks after we moved Lucky was missing. We looked and looked and couldn't find him anywhere. I was worried about the cold weather, an ice storm had developed and the temperature had dropped to thirteen degrees. It was getting colder still.
We were selling rabbits and had made rabbit hutches on the south side of the tool shed just east of the garage at the end of the driveway. A family in Sparks, (a town so small if you blinked you'd miss it) the town of Sparks was at the junction of seven highway and thirty six highway), came by to buy some rabbits and we told them about our little poodle, Lucky. He said his neighbor had "acquired" a new little black poodle around the same time we lost ours. We got in the car and headed to Sparks.
We walked up to the little blue house the people told us about. I anxiously knocked on the door. They were sitting in the living room watching T.V.A little black poodle was sitting in the man's lap. I said, “Lucky?" He jumped out of his lap and ran into my arms! I told them I was worried about him being outside in the terrible cold weather and that I was glad he at least was inside where it was warm. He had never been outside for any long length of time before. They said that they saw him down by the new bridge and thought he was abandoned. They didn't ask us if he was our dog they just took him, knowing there was a little red house not more than an eighth of a mile away. We took Lucky home and he never got tired of licking my face the whole four miles it took to get home.
One night someone came by and dropped a mutt dog off with long hair, a Benji type dog. I didn't want to keep it but Chuck and Lucky like him. Lucky and the "rag dog" played constantly, running around the yard at top speeds, barking and jumping on one another, having a high old time.
The light meter was inside the yard and the light man had to drive into the driveway to get to the pole to read the meter. I was inside the house one day when I heard a horn honking outside. I went outside to se what was going on. The woman sitting on the passenger side of the car said, “I think we just ran over your dog!” I just laughed and said, “They play in the yard all the time." They seemed so sober so I looked in the driveway and there lay Lucky. I hollered at Lucky and he didn't move. I went over to pick him up. He was limp and I was still disbelieving my eyes, I kept saying "Lucky" What's wrong with you?” His neck just lolled and I finally came to the realization that my little dog would play no more. I was devastated. I rocked him and cried and laid him lovingly on the trailer in the back of the tool shed by the rabbit hutches. In when Charles came home I couldn't speak. I just cried and cried. Charles could hardly get out of the car without asking me over and over "What the Hell is the matter with you?" I drug him over to the trailer and he said, “What happened?” I tried to tell him but every breath I took was racked with sobs. I finally got my story out.
We filed papers with the court in Troy and explained to the judge that the dogs weren't in the road; they were in their own yard. The man representing the REA, Rural Electric Association's defense was, “We run over a lot of dogs".The judge sided with them.
We went back to the lady in St Joseph that bred Nicole in the first place, we told her we couldn't take the pain any longer and wondered if she had any toy poodles for sell. She said she had an older black poodle that was a tiny toy. She said she would sell her for twenty five dollars because she was ten years old. In our grief we bought her anyway.
Her name was Midnight. Her hair was more grey than black but she was house broken. She didn't do any tricks. I cared for her but she just wasn't Lucky. She wanted me to hold her all the time.
I decided I needed a job. I was so bored with staying home all the time doing housework. I had a regular routine and certain days I did certain things. The house was so clean you could eat off the carpet. Charles had had a fever of 104 degrees one day and couldn't go to work. The wind chill was forty below zero and I insisted he stay home. He was supposed to run a trencher that had no cab on it out in the open field. Frances Gordon the boss and Kansas senator was in Topeka and would not be back for a day or two. I called his wife, Virginia, and explained why Charles couldn't come to work. It was not for trying, Charles kept crawling out of bed and insisted he had to go or Mr. Gordon would fire him. Virginia just said if he couldn't go he couldn't go. When Charles felt like going back to work, about the same time Frances Gordon came home from Topeka, Mr. Gordon didn't understand why Charles didn't go to work under such conditions and Charles told him off and quit. He had been bullying him the whole time he had worked there and was fed up.
He found a job in Wathena Ks about twenty miles away. He was working at Truss Company there making trusses for houses and driving a big rig across a few states to deliver them. A man he was working with and became best friends with, Jay, told him that his wife worked at the nursing home in Highland. It was 1987, March. We had two vehicles then, a 1982 Mercury Lynx and a 1972 Chevelle that Mr. Gordon had given to us for a song to make sure Charles had transportation to get back and forth from work when we still lived south of Troy. Jenny was fourteen at that time and Chuck was eight years old. On Jenny's fourteenth birthday, February 12th, we cleaned out the garage and had a birthday party for her with punch and friends from their new school in Highland. She was starting to notice boys and liked a boy from Sparks. Charles taught her how to drive the Mercury; it was a stick and a small car. She got her permit but was only allowed to drive to and from school. She was allowed to stay after school for drill team practice and drive home when she was done.
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