By Ralph Villers
Boris was the first pet the seven of us kids had.
My father brought him home one day in 1966, an unexpected furry puppy treat for the kids. My mom probably asked the obvious question: “Just who is going to take care of this dog?” Not to worry, she loved him too.
A Collie-Shepherd mix, he was so handsome in his predominant chestnut brown. And so friendly! When anyone came home, he would wag his tail furiously and offer you a gift – anything he could pick up at the spur of the moment as an offering. And he loved to ride in my father’s VW Microbus. You could not say the word, but had to spell C-A-R in any conversation within earshot. He also knew the term for animal doctor. You had to say V-E-T.
He could get lost easily, so in 1967, we had a 5-foot fence installed. Dad always mentioned that our free dog cost $750 (over $4,000 today per the CPI). But the fence was needed when we got a pool later. He got out one day, and my mother told Maggie (a later free dog) to “Go get Boris”. And about a half hour later, the two dogs returned. Cool.
Boris passed in 1980 of old age. A nice, furry friend. I don’t have many pictures, so I am using two that I could find, and you can see his good looks.
The first one in 1968, including myself, brother Chris and sister Vicki. The other around Christmas 1975 or 76. If he looks like he was smiling…no doubt he was!
The first Boris was when we were babies in Brigantine, NJ. A Chesapeake Retriever I was told, seen with my dad in 1954. When we moved to NYC, they gave him to people who had a farm, I think. A dog’s life, for sure!
Editor's Note: This post by Ralph Villers was originally posted on his blog Airhead 55.
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