As faithful readers will remember, when I was growing up we lived over the store – actually over my father’s office. (See PARKCHESTER, CELEBRATE ME HOME, Oct 16, 2015 and THE CORPSE IN THE OFFICE, June 2, 2016)
Nowadays my dad would be called an internist or a primary care physician, but in those days he was just a GP. In fact he was the kind of GP who could take out your appendix or deliver your baby, and he actually made house calls carrying his iconic black medical bag. Hearing that he was a doctor, someone once asked my father what his specialty was. “The skin and it’s contents.”, he replied.
My dad’s office was on the first floor of our house and the front parlor served as a waiting room that you entered directly from the street. My father’s dentist friend Ben shared the office space and their patients shared the waiting room.
One day when I was about seven, both Ben and my dad had busy schedules and the waiting room was full. Later they both remember noticing a little dog curled up on the rug, but each assumed it belonged to one of the other man’s patients.
In fact we never learned how that collarless puppy got into the waiting room – if she wandered in from the street when the door was open, or if someone thought a doctor’s office was a good place to abandon an unwanted pet.
In any case, when office hours were over and all the patients were gone, the little dog was still there and so my father carried her upstairs.
“Would you like to keep this little ball of fluff?”, he asked me, gently placing a warm white and brown puppy in my arms.
But Fluffy was licking my face and I couldn’t speak, so my mother settled the matter.
“The answer is yes.”, she said.
Dana Susan Lehrman