When I was a kid over in Limeyland, we had a dog named Hugo. Dad brought him home one night and Hugo literally fit in Dad’s hand. The story is that Dad had just finished reading “Les Miserables” and got Hugo’s name from that.

In case you’re thinking that Brits were used to a name like Hugo, please let me dissuade you. They found Hugo to be as odd a name over there back then as you do here and now. Maybe more so.

Hugo was a fox terrier with black and white fur and a docked tail. The docking may have been a DIY effort but I’m not sure – I was about 4 at the time.

When Hugo was fixed, we were told to make sure that he didn’t lick the wound. Since that was one of his favorite activities, it was a challenge. The solution was to put a pair of my underpants on Hugo. They were put on backwards so that Hugo’s tail would go through the hole. I’ve no idea how they were kept on. This seemed to be ok in the house but was a bit of an embarrassment when Hugo got loose, running and barking around the neighborhood in his underpants with his stumpy little tail sticking out.

At one point, Dad built a sort of kennel in the garage. It had a blanket and a small book of poetry propped open. There was also a sign that read “Please do not disturb me while I’m reading except for walkies or din-din.”

We had to leave Hugo behind when we moved to Canada. We were told that Hugo had been adopted someplace. I’m choosing to believe that.

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