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Reflections: Poodles and the Redd Man

I often think back to the time when life was much simpler and more laid-back, when we were not so concerned with the need for security with alarms and guard dogs in our homes.

In those days, our family was comprised of one college-aged daughter Leigh and two spoiled miniature poodles, Fred and Ernie. I often accused Leigh of coming home from the dorm on weekends just to play with Fred and Ernie. She had taught the dogs a game of chase. They would go into the yard, and Leigh would chase the dogs around and around the house until they were tired of this; then Fred and Ernie would chase Leigh around and around the house until Leigh was exhausted—the dogs never got tired and could have played the game all day.
These were also the days when it was not important to lock the doors. We had a contract with Redd Pest Control to spray monthly for bugs – why? I don’t know because we never had bugs; I don’t know whether it was because Redd did such a good job or whether in those days it was just “the thing to do” because everybody we knew had a pest control contract.
The Redd representative was a delightful man named Melvin who would simply call each time he had our house on his schedule and ask me to leave the door unlocked when I left for work. He would simply go into the house, spray for bugs and lock the door behind him when he left. Fred and Ernie thought Melvin came to visit them, and the whole time Melvin was spraying the baseboards, he had two little dogs sitting in his lap. Melvin never complained, and the dogs loved his visits.
This routine continued for years, until one morning Melvin called me at the office with concern in his voice. He asked if I had been home that morning. I told him that I had not and asked if there was a problem. He said that he had sent a new technician out to work my house, which should have taken less than half an hour, but that the technician had been gone all morning. He said he had called the house, but nobody answered the phone. I told him I would go home at lunch and if anything was amiss, I would call him.
A few minutes later, Melvin called me back to tell me not to bother going home at lunch because he had gone to the house and solved the problem of the missing Redd man. It seems that Melvin had given the new technicians detailed instructions about my house, but he had neglected to tell him about the poodles. When the technician opened the door, Fred and Ernie thought it was an open invitation for game time and raced through the open door into the yard. They waited until the new man thought the dogs should not be outside and immediately started chasing them to get them back into the house. He ran after them, and Fred and Ernie led him around and around and around the house. The Redd man didn’t know the rules and he, too, chased them around and around and around the house all morning.
When Melvin got to the house, he found a totally exhausted Redd man lying on the lawn and two poodles patiently waiting for their turn to chase him.

Enjoy our “Reflections” post — one of many vignettes and stories featuring memories of days gone by. This installment is from Bettye H. Galloway as seen in “The Oxford So & So.”
If you would like to contribute your own Reflections story, send it, along with photos, to hottytoddynews@gmail.com.

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