Our Pets at Christmas

Everyday until Christmas, I am going to try to post a picture from a past family Christmas. 

On the left is Skipper the dog I was promised when my parents had to get rid of our dog Taby mentioned in a previous post.  I got Skipper when we moved into our first house in 1953.  This is 1966 and Skipper is 13 years old.  He was part Cocker Spaniel and part Poodle.  Today he would be called a Cockapoo, but back in 1953 he was just a mutt.  Skipper lived until September of 1968 and died at age 15.  We left him shaggy with long hair, and he was all black except for some white on his chin and chest.  He some hairs that hung over his eyes.  Skipper had a rough start to life.  We had  him a short time when he became sick and was diagnosed with distemper.  The vet wanted to put him down, but my mother said, “no.”  He stayed at the vet’s for awhile and then came home but was still sick.  My mom coddled eggs for him and spoon fed him.  The vet was amazed at the progress Skipper made.  He had never had a dog live through distemper before.  At two years old Skipper was hit by car, and he had internal injuries, bruised ribs and a sore leg.  He walked with a limp for a long time.  A family friend gave Skipper lots of sympathy and she would massage Skipper’s leg.  Long after Skipper healed when ever they came over Skipper would limp to get sympathy and a massage.

On the right is a picture of Pierre our Poodle.  This is also 1966 and Pierre is one year old.  Pierre lived to ripe old age of 16.  The last few years we wondered if he was senile.  He would try to go behind the stove and get stuck.  Pierre stayed with my folks after I married.  He led a pretty quiet normal life compared to Skipper.

In the picture with Skipper the aluminum tree appears again, and those are my mother’s legs in the picture.  I don’t know what she is giving him, but he seems excited about it.

Pierre is posing on the chair like a typical Poodle.  He is in front of that fire place that was  mentioned in a previous post.

Meet Susie (left) and Brittney (right) two Golden Retrievers.  Susie and Brittney were sisters born in 1992.  Brittney was actually my brother’s dog, but lived here with us for many years so I feel as though she was mine too.  My husband and I would take them to the state park near us for walks.  I would take Susie because she was smaller and didn’t pull as hard. Brittney was bigger and heavier built.  Her coat was darker golden than Susie’s.  The first couple of years they played and played until we were worn out watching them.  Susie being smaller would get underneath Brittney and take a little nip.  Over all Brittney was the more aggressive of the two.  This picture was taken in about 1997.  Brittney died first at age 13 and Susie died a couple of years later at age 15.

We have had other dogs as well, but I don’t have pictures of them at Christmas, so I will tell their stories another time.

Christmas 1948 Opening Presents

Everyday until Christmas, I am going to try to post a picture from a past family Christmas. 

Openng Christmas Presents 1947

Openng Christmas Presents 1948

This is the family opening their presents in 1948.  What a mess!  It looks like our typical Christmas.  One habit that the family had was every one opened their presents at the same time.  No one could see what the others received nor see their reaction to the present.  After I married, I suggested that we open them one person at a time.  For a few  years we drew names to see who would go first, second and so forth.  After the kids came along they went first and then we went by age.  Oldest was the last one.  On the left is my father, and grandmother.  My mother is sitting in front of the tree with a sweater in her hand.  Grandpa is in the corner chair holding up something that looks like it could be a pair of pants. On the right is my grandmother’s sister, Frances, and  her daughter Pat. You can see my play pen in the picture.  Missing from the picture is my Uncle Russ so he is probably taking the picture.

Copyright © 2019 Gail Grunst

Christmas 1943

Everyday until Christmas, I am going to try to post a picture from past family Christmas’ each day. 

Dorothy Christmas 1943

Mom Christmas Time 1943

This picture is dated on the back January 1, 1943.  My mom age 18 is sitting on the floor.  At first glance, I thought it was my grandmother.  But when blown up on the computer, I’m not so sure.  It could be my grandmother’s sister, Frances.  Notice the granny square afghan on sofa.  In yesterday’s picture there was a pillow with a granny square pillow case.  The tree sure lights up the corner. Our family tradition was always put the tree up the weekend before Christmas and take it down the day after New Years Day.  This was especially true with the live trees.  Once we went to artificial trees we may have put them up earlier, but still took them down right after New Years day. I can’t tell what she is holding in her hand.  I remember that table next to the tree being in that same spot forever.  Next to it is one of those ash trays on a pedestal.  You don’t see those around anymore.  On the wall near the ceiling it looks like it was stenciled, and the crown molding is something you don’t see very often anymore in new houses. For me it is interesting to see the changes made to my grandparents house over the years, although a lot stayed the same. 

Copyright © 2019 Gail Grunst

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge

I’m doing Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.  My post The Mother-In-Law was the start.  This weeks challenge is to write about a favorite photo.  I thought this would be easy, but I have spent a lot of time trying to decide which one is my favorite.  There are so many of them that it was hard to decide.  Finally, I settled on one of my mother and Santa Claus.  It seemed appropriate since we just celebrated Christmas a few weeks ago.  

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The picture was taken in December 1929 when my mother was five years old.  I assume it was taken in Chicago, Illinois because that is where they lived at that time.  There is the number 742 in the picture.  Could that be how they kept track of the pictures, and it was picture number 742?  I love her bobbed hair, and Santa’s beard sure looks fake!  It’s hard to image my mother believing is Santa Claus or for that matter being five years old.  I wonder what she asked him to bring her for Christmas.  It looks like she might be holding something in her hand.  There is not much else to say about the picture, it speaks for itself.  Having spent many Christmas’ with my mother’s family, I can picture them celebrating Christmas 1929.

Copyright © 2017 Gail Grunst