So far, there have been four dogs in my life. Two as I was growing up in the US and two in Sweden. Grandfather Eskil had a really smelly Beagle named Ingo that showed me a lot of affection when I lived with him and Grandma Agnes in Trollhättan in the mid 1970s – but I’m not counting him.
My first dog was a beautiful German Shepard named Co-Co and to this day I clearly remember how maternally protective she was of the family. Especially when I was really young. On one traumatic occasion, while we were staying in a rented summer beach house in Malibu (this is when Malibu was more hippy than chic and not nearly as astronomically expensive as the community is today), Co-Co rescued me from being pulled out to sea by an unusually strong current. I was laying on a red, inflatable, canvas raft and she seemed to instinctively sense that I was in literally in deep trouble. After barking intensely for a few minutes on the beach, Co-Co doggy-paddled out to me from shore, grabbed a corner of the raft with her jaws and then swam back the land with me on the raft in tow.
I hadn’t thought of this for many decades until just now, but I also have a vivid memory of how Co-Co would nip me in the butt, not bite, just a distinct pinch, whenever my mother and argued or yelled at each other, which was frequently.
Our second dog was a black Belgian Shepard named Todo, which was short for Todo el Mundo (All the World). Not entirely certain if my memory serves me correctly here, but I want to remember that Todo was a rescue dog. Being a male, his character was totally different from Co-Co’s – but he was nonetheless loving and lovable. Before moving to Sweden in 1978, Todo and I parted ways. He lived out his life among many other dogs on a ranch outside L.A. in Thousand Oaks that belonged to a friend of my mother.
Torsten, a Miniature Schnauzer, was the third dog in my life. Gentle and cute and with all the typical attributes of a schnauzer (stubborn as hell), Torsten didn’t really have much of a personality. He lived out his life in Göteborg with Allan and Agneta, Charlotte’s parents.
Our most recent dog is Palma and she’s been living with a new family just outside of Göteborg for the last five years. We gave her to them after finally realizing that all the travelling we were doing at the time was making it practically impossible and emotionally irresponsible to have a dog in the family.
I’m definitely open for owning a dog again. Not sure what kind, though. Charlotte’s counting on us getting a Dachshund of some variant. I’m not sure what kind of dog I prefer. Certainly not one as small and fluffy as “Happy” above. Not that that tiny Pomeranian didn’t have character when he dropped by the studio earlier today. But after two Shepherds and a couple of Schnauzers, it’s going to take a creature with some serious personality to lure me back to life with a dog.