101721 human condition (toned)

In the late 1940s I was given a delightful little puppy, who I named Zip.

Zip was a Scottish terrier with short legs and a wiry coat of black hair with a strip of white under his chin. He was a confident, independent, spirited and friendly little fellow. He loved to be outside to run, walk and play.

Zip followed me everywhere, and we journeyed together, with me on my bike or just walking along with him. Without me knowing, he would at times venture out alone in the old neighborhood, but he always came home. It was a simpler time in Baton Rouge and the neighborhood was like family, with everyone knowing and enjoying a little fellow like Zip.

Our next-door neighbor was a wonderful lady who happened to have 18 cats. I never counted them; I just took her word.

Well, Zip got his exercise chasing those cats. He never caught one, of course, having short legs and slow speed. I often told him that he really did not want to catch one. I am not sure he understood, but if he happened to catch one, he would.

At the time, we lived close to LSU and made many trips to ball fields, campus sites and other spots. In the summer, I would journey to City Park and watch the Baton Rouge Red Sticks baseball game at the old stadium. Zip always followed. We would sit in the grass beyond the outfield fence and enjoy the company of others and their pets.

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Zip also loved to go with me when I ventured to the big lake at LSU. My friends and I had access to a pirogue. Zip would sit up front and enjoy the breeze as I paddled from the back. He was very careful to stay in the boat, for he did not care to swim, probably recalling the baths he'd really rather not endure.

Then there's the story of a little Scottie following Pastor W.E. Trice into a Sunday church service at University Methodist Church in the old music building on the LSU campus. I couldn’t confirm, but surely it was Zip.

But Zip's most memorable trip had to be the time our neighbor friend, who worked in the downtown Baton Rouge police station, saw Zip on the lawn outside her office. I have no idea how he got there.

So our friend, who knew my little dog well, asked a fellow officer on his way to LSU to drop Zip off at our home. I will always remember that police car stopping at our house, opening the car door and letting Zip out. Little Zip jumped to me as I thanked the gracious officer.

Yes, Zip was quite a traveler and quite a dear companion! Thanks for the memories, little friend!

— Babin lives in Zachary


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