It wasn’t until my youngest sister was six that we finally persuaded dad to let us have a dog. In fairness we didn’t really give him much choice as grandad showed up with the puppy, having smuggled him on a coach, inside a small bag.
He was a mongrel, white with black spots, gorgeous and clever. We named him Muxi.
When I mentioned the family dog here it was Muxi I was thinking of as I have specific memories about him in that place.
The beach we used to stay at was quite basic, with only a few houses. It had a main road along it and one other short road that became a dirt track into the woods.
Once we went for a walk in the woods, got a bit lost and ended up on the hill above the beach. We could see the house we were staying at but not a path to get there. Muxi kept running back and forth, barking at us. One of us kids said that he had probably found a way but dad said it was unlikely. We persuaded him to follow the dog and sure enough Muxi was showing us a path down.
Until then dad had just tolerated his presence but after this I believe he gained a certain admiration and respect for Muxi and his skills.
The other episode was when my younger sister went to holiday camp. My other sister and I had gone there when we were around her age and my parents thought it would be good for her to go too. The odd thing was that she had to go while the rest of the family were on holiday at the beach.
Dad drove her to the camp and as soon as they left, Muxi went under her bed and refused to move. We coaxed him with food and all sorts of treats but could not persuade him to get up or go anywhere.
My sister and I were scared that he would die of hunger if he didn’t eat until our little sister came back. As it turned out we didn’t have to worry too long because she was miserable at the camp and dad went off again to get her a few days later.
We were at home as they were due back and suddenly Muxi got up from under the bed and started wagging his tail. We looked out to the road and saw the car arriving. He was over the moon when he saw my sister.
After that we were back to normal with all the family and the family dog doing our usual holiday activities together.