purple poodleI wanted a purple poodle...

I wanted a purple poodle, but I don't remember why.

Nor, do I know how I got the idea because we didn't have a color TV and I had never been to the circus. Anyway, come Christmas morning in 1965 my mom woke me up and told me Santa had come. Always the last to arise, my sister, brother and dad were waiting for my arrival.

Still half asleep in my melancholy way I started opening my presents. There were so many! Christmas was always a big deal. We always had a real tree with clunky lights just like the clunky lights on the bushes outside. Dad started his stories about Santa. He said early that morning you could see the tracks of the sled and reindeer!

My older sister confirmed this. He told us he actually heard Santa and his reindeer last night and actually had proof! He showed us a set of large bells that he had found in the snow! They must have fallen off Santa's sled! Wow! Dad and Mom gently persuaded me to open this box.

It was about the size of a hat box. It was wrapped with ribbons and stickers and the card said, "To Leslie, From Santa."  I started to unwrap the gift when suddenly the top just popped off ! Inside was the cutest, tiniest little black puppy I had ever seen! I almost cried I was so happy !

His little black nose was wet. Of course, that was from coming all the way from the North Pole, I thought! Tu-Tu was a little male Yorkshire Terrier --full of life. We all loved him. He was mostly black with a little tan. He had pointed ears. He was a tiny dog that thought he was huge!

He definitely had likes and dislikes. He hated hot dogs and grapes and toys that squeaked. Before he would play with a new toy he had to remove the squeaky. And he really hated Happy, my dad's German Short Haired Pointer. We would let him outside and tell him to “Go get Happy!”

He would run in the back yard and bark like crazy, obviously telling Happy that he was an inferior working class dog and if only I could get on the other side of this fence I'd give you a good whippin' you’d never forget! Happy was all business and paid him no mind thank goodness. He loved us all, but specially my dad.

We would have dinner at 5 o’ clock every night. Tu-Tu would beg for food. He would have to sit up pretty. He didn't sit up pretty the usual way. Tu-Tu would have to wave his arms back in forth to keep his balance. We all thought this was adorable! In fact we thought he was the best dog in the whole world!

Tu-Tu knew us by name at least when it was time to get a treat. Dad would say , “Go to Debbie” and Tu-Tu would beg from Debbie. He would say “go to Leslie” and he would come to me and so forth. He was a fat little 5 pounder! Tu-Tu has gone now but will never be forgotten. Funny, the first thing I teach my puppies and dogs is to sit up pretty!