Compassion is the basis of morality. ~Arthur Schopenhauer
As I’ve mentioned before in Playing As Kids – Tire Rolling, as these crazy stupid memories of entertainment come rushing back to me from my childhood, I will record them in a blog entry for Kyle’s later enjoyment.
Two weekends ago we had the dogs out and about since it reached forty degrees, before the anticipated winter blast from the northwest rolled in. My mom decided to take the boys for a ride, their favorite activity after eating and sleeping that is. While mom drove them up and down the road, it reminded me of another stupid/fun activity we invented.
What was this crazy pastime? From the blog title one might assume we acted like dogs and literally chased cars. Not exactly. Let me first explain about my first dog, Jill. She was named Jill because my cousin’s, who lived down the road from us, had a dog named Jack. We thought it was humorous to say Jack and Jill (went up the hill to fetch a pail of water…). Anyway, we received our beloved Jill for Christmas one year, circa 1981. I was about six or seven years old in the first grade, Nicole the third and Ryan wasn’t in school yet, going into kindergarten the following year.
We had mom’s dog Baby in the house, but Jill was our very own dog, our first one. The dog we were suppose to share among the three of us, and we did. Jill was a beautiful mix of Coonhound and Collie. Basically, she was a blond collie with black fur outlining her features, especially around her ears and eyes. To us as little kids, she was a huge dog, but in reality she was a medium to large size dog, with a few extra pounds, as many of the Piper dogs sport.
Jill had this bump on the top of her head where her skull came to a point. In my eyes as a youngster, that meant she was really smart. Let me tell you, she wasn’t stupid in the slightest.
Jill loved all of us kids, cousins included. Never, ever, did she nip or snap at us, even when we’d lay on her, chase her around, give her baths, cut her hair and all the basic things kids would do to a dog they adored. She followed us everywhere, for bike rides, running through the woods, and she’d stay on the porch at my cousin Casey’s (and the crew) while we played in the yard. Yep, Jill was the best dog who lived. She stayed with us for a good long while, until I was out of high school sometime. (Scooby and Seven are pretty good too!) Jill even hung with Ryan’s dog Jake for many years, but she never got to meet my late cat Pudd’in, but she did have friends who were cats.
Jill LOVED car rides too, like all of our dogs after her. (Mom’s dog Baby, Jill’s predecessor hated car rides). Naturally as little kids we couldn’t exactly take the car out for a spin to fulfill her adventurous wish, so I got creative one day.
How could a kid roughly ten years old at this point, satisfy the dog’s hunger to feel the wind in her ears and feed her wild side? Simple. We acted it out. I remember this day all too well, probably because it was seriously the silliest thing we’ve done, or close to it, to date.
It started with a beautiful sunny Sunday. I remembered coming home from church and changing into my play cloths. Since it wasn’t too hot, I would peg the season to be spring. These crazy adventures always started with Ryan and me looking for some trouble to get into.
Opening the door to the car, we thought it was all too funny Jill jumped in and sat down, thinking she was going for a ride. That’s when I felt terrible for misleading her. Knowing, mom and dad had no plans of getting in the car and taking her for a ride, I improvised.
I had an idea! Instructing Ryan to get in the driver’s side and act like he was driving, I stood beside the car and ran back and forth to simulate motion. Thinking back on this situation now, I truly laugh at that sight! Ryan really got into it too. He was motioning like he was shifting gears (mom’s car was a manual transmission) and making loud engine noises.
We even wound down the windows, while Jill sat in the backseat with her head hanging out like she was cruising along. It even became a race, once Ryan would “rev up the engine” I would run slower behind the back passenger door, like the car was passing me. Then Ryan would act like he was slowing down, taking that as my cue to speed up to be parallel to the hood of the car, never going too far in either direction.
Oh but that was not all! Ryan turned over the key to get juice to the car without turning on the engine, putting it in accessory mode. With the electrical components working we were able to add to our quasi driving experience. Ryan turned on the radio to give me some running music, and him and Jill some driving tunes. We even thought it was funny to blast the music. Sometimes Ryan would switch on the windshield wipers. Great idea until he hit me with over spray with the windshield wiper fluid, although that caused giggles to erupt from both parties. I bet Jill thought we were a bunch of idiots. Yet I know she appreciated our sense of humor and our passion for having fun.
Nicole must have heard our ruckus and decided to investigate, finding this unusual behavior exciting. Being so wrapped up in our activity, all we heard echoing from the porch was “What are you guys doing?” in that same authoritative brush voice of hers that still rings true today.
Would you believe even Nicole got in the car, granted she wouldn’t take turns like Ryan and me running beside the car, but she would sit and pretend to be a passenger or drive.
We were out there for hours, doing the same thing, that is until mom checked in on us and realized we’ve been draining her car battery. That ended electronic entertainment but the car fun continued.
Eventually, we had to come in for dinner. Jill jumped out of the car with such enthusiasm and satisfaction it made us all happy. She loved playing with us, even though the car never left its spot.
Using the imagination is the best way to play! At least Jill thought so.
Read About Our Other Activities