When I was two years old I got a dog for my birthday I named Raffles. She was a little black dog and I grew up with her. She was never a bad dog, but she was not exactly well trained either. An open door meant it was time to go out into the neighborhood to find the dog. But, she loved going up into the mountains where we had property and was the best dog in the world up there.
When I was 17 years old and a senior in High School I missed out on voting in the presidential election since I would not turn 18 until the following July. As a result I did not vote in the 1984 election and cast my first vote in the epic Bush 41 versus Dukakis election. There was the 1986 midterm I got to vote in, but that was not the same thing.
Pets are family. And the day after the 1984 general election I lost family. Raffles had taken ill and was a very old little dog and my father was tasked with awful task. I came home from school and he told me she was gone with obvious pain in his eyes. It hurt deeply, but to see how my father felt my pain too has always been a moment I hold onto in the relationship I have with my dad.
The night before the 1988 election I actually saw Dukakis give a speech in Spokane on the campus of Gonzaga University. His celebrity entourage was with him and included Carrie Fisher, Rob Lowe, Hal Linden, and John Larroquette. Regan got his third term through a surrogate.
Every four years I reflect on those events. I put a lot of myself into the 1988 campaign. Losing my dog was a very sad experience. Four years from now my son gets to vote in his first general election while my daughter misses it and must wait to vote in 2020 and be 21 at her first like her father was.
But, the real reason for this post is because I miss my dog, still. I have had a number of dogs and been around a number of them as though they were mine like Yogi, Dasher, Babie, Spike, Joker, Boomer, and others. I may not remember Raffles every day, but I always do when voting for president.