By Shirley Palmerton
Many years ago, we went up to my brother’s farm for Christmas dinner. My two sisters and their families were there, too – all 18 of us. Relaxing in the living room, we drank tea from the tiny tea set my niece had received for Christmas.
“Thank you! Aren’t you sweet? Maybe another cup?”
We soon realized that the children were too little to turn on the faucets and discovered they were getting our “tea” from the toilet. Everyone raced to the kitchen to rinse out their mouths – even the men.
When we were settled again, we began our gift exchange. My brother Bob said to my husband, Bill, “I got your name – I’ll go get your present.”
Bob went out to the barn and returned with a very large box. Bill opened it and inside was the ugliest puppy you have ever seen – wiry brown and black fur, long ears and legs, and a short 3-inch tail. The puppy leaped out of the box and ran around the living room and kitchen like its tail was on fire.
Bill was normally a very quiet man. When I looked at him, his eyes were open so wide as he watched that dog run around that his eyebrows almost touched his hairline!
On the way home, my son Craig, yelled, “That dog just peed on my leg!”
All I could think was, “Dear God, what are we in for?”
We took her home and named her Yippee.
That spring, as I looked out the living room window one day, I saw a woman and two children walking up the road toward our house. I then saw Yippee excitedly race down the muddy driveway, leap onto the woman and knock down the kids.
I raced to the crank-out window. I kept yelling out the dog’s name every time she knocked over one of the little ones. I yelled, “Yippee! Yippee!” as I watched her muddy the woman’s coat, and I kept yelling, “Yippee!” until the woman and her children turned around and went back the way they came. I never saw them again.
One year my son Jeff was showing a pig at the county fair, so he had to wash it. When it was nice and clean, he put on baby powder to make it look white. He then put bales of hay around the pig and opened up the barn door.
We sat around on the hay bales – even Yippee – as Jeff practiced showing the pig. He was doing really well until Yippee hopped off the hay bale and started chasing that pig. It ran through the mud puddle, where Jeff had just washed it, and then right through the place where the pig did its business!
Yippee came back and innocently sat on the bale of hay as if nothing had happened.
There are so many stories about Yippee I could share. Every Sunday after church, we would load chairs, food, drinks and a lounge chair into a trailer that Bill pulled with the tractor. We would go back in the woods to eat and clear out the sticks and dead branches from the area.
Craig would lie in the lounge chair and sleep and Yippee always sat close to him. Craig was getting weaker because of two surgical attempts to remove all of the cancer from a brain tumor. He died when he was just 17.
Yippee had come into our lives at a very difficult time. We didn’t know it when we brought her home that Christmas, but she somehow sensed Craig’s illness, and was his faithful companion. We loved her for every crazy thing she did.
I’m sure Yippee and Craig are both in heaven and God is asking Craig, “Where’s that dog and what’s she doing now?”