Of old dogs, children and watermelon wine


By Vicki Scott

Last week my darling husband Alan asked me to write about old dogs, children and watermelon wine. Even though that was my intention when I started, my story ended up totally different.
At work the next day, Pat Hill, the director at George Wallace Senior Center in Glencoe, knew that song by Tom T. Hall. I felt compelled to try again. Instead of a song, I will attempt to tell my rendition of old dogs, children and watermelon wine.
Old dogs reminded me of Nikki Gal Scott, an Alaskan Malamute that Alan had when we married. We called her “Dog.” She had beautiful markings and gave birth to beautiful puppies during the Auburn-Alabama game that next year after we married. We rotated back and forth checking on Dog as she labored all day. It snowed later that year, and Dog would be seen running with her puppies through the yard. When people drove by and saw them, they would stop and want to buy one.
Dog did not like me at first, but later tolerated me. She would sit between Alan and me and howl as loud as she could until I would get up. I was nervous when I found out we were expecting, as I did not want Dog hurting our children. Alan compared my labor to Dog’s labor and said that Dog had eight puppies and did not make near as much noise as I did. Every time a pain would come, Alan would sit in the corner and make howl noises.
When our children were babies, Dog would walk with us and not leave our side. She loved our babies and was very protective over them. I did not realize how much until a redbone hound jumped out of the bushes at our babies. Dog caught it by the neck in mid-air and pinned him down. Dog stayed between our children and cars or other people and was protective over Alan as well. She was a loyal dog until her last day. Dog was a good old dog and will forever have a place in my heart.
When I think of children at this season of my life, my first thought is our grandchildren. They are like their parents were now. They carry that unconditional love that old dogs have and do not judge by looks. They do notice differences and ask about them but soon move on to what they are doing.
An example would be when one of my grands told me that I was squishy. She did not see me as fat, but soft. She smiled as she touched my arms as if she liked how I felt. She made me feel like she loved me, squishy and all.
Another one of my grands saw me changing my shirt. She gasped and asked, “Nana, what happened?” After telling her I ate too much, she asked if it was “chocowate” I ate too much of. I told her yes and asked her to pray for me. She refused because she loved “chocowate.” I guess that “chocowate” was worth the weight. Sounds good to me!
I love all my grands very much and I have no doubt they love me. I praise God for them and our old dog.
Watermelon wine is tough. I don’t think I have ever tried it. The song says that “there is nothing worth a dime, but old dogs, children, and watermelon wine.” I do not know about the watermelon wine, but I praise God for blessing my life with old dogs and children.
How’s that, Alan?

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