Holiday Memories: The Duffy Train


Right after my wife and I were married, we occasionally dog sat for her parents. Duffy was a Dalmatian setter mix and terrified of cats. (The comment about cats is not important to the story, but I still remember my friends making fun of me when my cats were chasing the dog around our apartment and it makes me smile). One Christmas, Duffy was with us and I didn’t want him to feel left out, so I went out and bought him a gift. The gift was wrapped and under the tree by the time my wife got home. She asked, “What did you get Duffy that’s so big?”

She asked because the package was a good three feet by two feet in size. I responded by telling her it was a surprise and I couldn’t tell her because she might tell the dog. My wife can’t keep Christmas secrets. On the big day, we opened up Duffy’s gift last. I offered to help him tear off the wrapping paper and with many a tale wag his gift was soon revealed: a model train set.

My wife said, “A train? For Duffy? Really? This gift is for you!”

I denied her claims but assisted Duffy in setting up the train around the Christmas tree. I…er..Duffy, played with the train set most of the morning. While Duffy couldn’t talk, I am pretty sure this was one of his all time favorite gifts.

Now every time I get one of the animals a gift, my wife gets worried. Well, time to worry. I’m headed out tonight to buy gifts for two dogs and one cat. I wonder if any of them like remote control cars?

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