The following is an excerpt from Rescue Dogs the Virginia Years.
Nana and Pop-Pop
One of my first Family Vacations was to the Lake House to meet Nana and Pop-Pop. Nana took one look at my scrawny frame and decided I needed to be fattened up. Every morning Nana made me eggs and cottage cheese. If she was moving too slowly, I howled and stamped my feet with impatience. I came to think of Nana as the Egg Lady and I loved her. After breakfast we often took long walks together. There were so many smells it was a hound dog paradise. (The neighborhood bear was a particularly interesting scent and a few years later, Mama Bear and I had a close encounter.)
I also laid by Nana’s feet while she read books and took naps. Occasionally, I backed my bottom up against the couch and had a little seat hoping Nana wouldn’t notice. Then Pop-Pop would walk into the room and bellow “No dog butts on couch, Sully!” I couldn’t remember if I had a Person when I left the farm, so Nana became My Person. This might have disappointed Matthew a little, but he understood that these things just can’t be predicted. I loved My Family, but a dog only has one true Person. Many years earlier, Nana had also been the Person to a Golden Retriever named Barney. (I sometimes caught Barney’s scent around the dock where he used to play and swim.) Not many people are lucky enough to be the Person for two dogs, but Nana was special.
One time, Nana took care of me when My Family went on vacation. We went to the Lake House and I slept on the floor right next to her bed. It was a quiet week of scrambled eggs, walks, and naps. My favorite! When Pop-Pop joined us on the weekend, he said “No dogs in the bedroom!” Nana and I convinced him that it was too late to make that rule. I was already there! Pop-Pop sighed because he knew we were right, and changed the rule to “No dogs on my side of the bed!” Nana and I agreed to that – but occasionally I sneaked over there when he was sleeping. (Pop-Pop always liked rules.)