The photo on the left is a puzzle to me. Where is my teddybear? The doll I am holding belonged to my sister but it is wearing the outfit I later saw on my teddy in other photos. I didn't even like dolls, all I wanted was my teddybear. I am going to have to ask her if she remembers because the answer to this conundrum escapes me.
All that aside this collage holds three of my favorite family photos. Bottom right shows my dear Mother. Her name was Joan. She is holding me, a relatively new human being to the world. I don't really know exactly how old I was here. My sister Bev sits next to us. The one above shows me in my pram. The first thing I noticed about it was the strap that holds me secure. It looks like something out of a dungeon. I don't expect I went anywhere with that thing on. The photo on the left shows me holding the doll, my sister holds our Ginger Tom we called Binkey and that is our dog Skipper.
Skipper only had the use of three legs. His fourth hung limp, totally lifeless. Back in those days everyone let their dogs run free. Skipper had a habit of following the local fishmonger. This kind gentleman loved animals and he loved our dog, and would let him accompany him as he pushed his barrow laden with fish all over the town. He probably gave Skipper a few treats along the way and I am sure Skipper was attracted to the smell of the fish and the anticipation of those fishy treats.
One day Skipper spotted him on the other side of the road, ran across and was hit by a car. We were devastated and fortunately he survived but his poor leg was so badly damaged, it was never the same. The vet wanted to amputate it but my Dad couldn't bring himself to agree to that and asked if he would be okay keeping his leg. The vet told him that he shouldn't have a problem but it would be of no use to him and again tried to persuade Dad to let him amputate it but Dad would have none of it. Skipper lived for many, many more years and ran on his three good legs as well as he would if he had the use of all four.
Strangely enough it wasn't even considered to curtail his outings, and even after that horrible accident he kept his freedom. He was well known as the 'three-legged-dog' who ran along next to the fishmonger, who was a character himself as he always sang out his wares. When a sale was made the barrow would halt, a customer would buy the fish, pat Skipper on the head making a big fuss of him and the fishmonger and the customer would chat for a while until it was time to move on.
Of course we would never dream of letting our beloved animals run around in a busy town nowadays but as I said before, it was a different time back then and more part of the norm. And my sister and I would always be happy as the fishmonger would drop Skipper off as he passed by our house, and Skipper was always waiting for us on our return home from school.