Renegade Writer’s Guild: Mrs. Rebecca Isaac; and beloved pet Bocephus

Published 9:20 am Thursday, February 10, 2022

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A Special Friend
By Linda H. Barnette
Since February is Black History Month, I chose to write about a local family friend who was very special to me.
Years ago my mother went to work uptown at Christine’s Gift Shop. She and Daddy were intent upon sending me to college, so they both needed income in order to do that. Mother informed Daddy that she would be glad to work but that she was going to the beauty shop once a week and she wanted to find someone to do their ironing.
So that is how Mrs. Rebecca Isaac came to be part of our family. Many years later after I moved back home and started to work, Mrs. Isaac agreed to do my ironing. As hard as it was to understand, her hobbies were washing and ironing just as mine are writing and reading. She never did it for the money, but she did it because she loved it.
In the old days, Daddy went over to the Isaac home to pick up the clothes each week, and he always visited with them. Anybody who knew my dad knows that he was friendly and loved people. After he died, Mr. Isaac brought the clothes to Mother’s home as she was disabled. Then for many years I took and picked up our clothes to their home and visited with them. They were well-read and could discuss many subjects, which I enjoyed. Later when Rebecca and I both became unable to climb her many steps, her son Bruce brought the clothes to the car. She watched to be sure that he hung them just right as she took great personal pride in her work, even all of my linen suits and pants!
Over the course of 40 years Rebecca became one of my most admired friends. She and I had long discussions about many topics and were totally comfortable with each other. She was highly religious and took great pride in her children.
When her husband passed away and then two of her children, I went to see her and was welcomed almost like a member of the family.
Eventually, death took her at age 95. Unfortunately, I did not get to pay her a last visit because of the pandemic, but I still have wonderful memories of our times together.

By E. Bishop
Bocephus Bishop is my name; Bo for short. Lying here in the vet’s office with my human Mom, I’m feeling my time is coming to an end very soon. I see her holding back those tears while trying to comfort me. She knows these last few weeks have been hell for me, not being able to eat much, not being able to walk very far with her, and finally what used to be my 75-pound frame having to be physically carried in here. I’ve lived a good happy life on the farm and have been a loyal protector of my humans, and now I’m just tired and want to dream of the good times.
You know, with my personality and intellect (not to brag, mind you), I think I would have made a good drug sniffing, seeing eye or search and rescue dog. But my humans chose me to be their family pet and didn’t care if I had those papers showing I was a blue merle. I do think I made a difference in their lives though by being their therapy dog. Just by putting my paw out, I could say “I love you.” They probably didn’t realize it, but I never got enough of their time and attention, and I would have gone to the ends of the earth with them.
Boy, I really loved it when the little human came to visit; we would play fetch, run and tumble on each other until we were worn out. I could tell he really loved me too. The times my human Dad rode his mountain bike on the trails in the woods behind our house were really special; I tried to herd him in the right direction but sometimes he would just get upset. Oh, and going on those long walks with Mom were fantastic. Sometimes, I had to veer off into the woods to run after a rabbit or just explore, but I would always come back to her.
Those were the good times. But I do have to mention one extra bad time to explain myself to my humans. There was one terrible night where I had to fight hard, really hard, to protect you. A monster in the woods came at me with unparalleled vengeance, left me with a wounded ego and deep wounds that had to be treated. It took me awhile to recover from that escapade. So, maybe you’ll understand, when I got older and that big old coyote came waltzing through our yard that I just could not get up and chase it away. Please forgive me.
Remember when I was accused of being the daddy to a litter of our neighbor’s pups? One of them did look just like me, but there was no way I could have sired that mean little devil. Plus, I remember well why I could not be a daddy to any pup even if I had wanted to be.
Oh, remember when I was just a pup, I was so full of myself, so energetic and liked to bark and chase everything. I was so clumsy with those long legs; jumping off of the porch made everyone laugh but I didn’t care. Remember that one time when that large human came to visit; he was afraid to get out of the car because of me. Everyone thought I was going to bite him. I was only trying to protect you as I have all of these wonderful years.
Please be a responsible pet owner.
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