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There’s one in every family…a favorite pet!

Really Dad got Erica for himself in spring of 1968 when we lived in Odessa, Texas but she quickly became a beloved member of our family.  At the time we got her, we lived in an apartment and when we weren’t home she stayed in the small concrete, fenced in porch.  Thankfully, for the growing German Shepherd, we didn’t live there long and our next homes had a bit more space for her.  Erica was cute, playful, protective and, for an only child up to that point whose family moved all the time, a great friend.

We have several photos of her and you can see how adorable, young and awkward a puppy she was but my favorite photo shows the beautiful girl she became.  The way she playfully held her tongue to the side and pointed her ears so that they touched.  Her ears were soft, she had white paws and her tail reminded me of a fox.  In addition, she had a beauty mark on the side of her face, just like I do.  I can’t help but have fond memories each time I look at the photo my Dad took of her and a neighbor a few steps from our home at Jackson Park in Long Beach, California.

In the fall of 1971 we were living in Durham, North Carolina and decided to go to the mountains for a weekend of camping.  Our plans were abruptly changed when we had a serious car wreck on the highway in Winston Salem, NC.  Mom was hospitalized for a few days with a cracked pelvic bone and stitches in her head.  Dad and I were thrown from the VW bus and thankfully sustained nothing more than scrapes.  Erica may have been thrown or she fled the scene.  Adjacent to the highway was a very wooded area that Dad and I searched and searched but we found no sign of her.   It’s possible that she was okay and that someone found her but we’ll never know.

I choose to remember Erica as the happy, beautiful German Shepherd you see in the image above.

This is my submission for the 100th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is entitled “There’s One in Every Family!”

Bring your stories of colorful characters, unique heirlooms, mouth-watering recipes, most dearly beloved pets, whatever! Interpret as you like. Every family has “special” individuals, you know, the ones with a green thumb, the black sheep, the lone wolf, the blue-ribbon cook, the story-teller, the geek! I know you have treasured recipes and amazing heirlooms you’ve yet to share! Tell us about them and become a part of history in the 100th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy! The deadline for submissions is December 1st.

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