By Ralphine Major

It was a popular song of the fifties—“The Lollipop Tree.”  Its melody and simple lyrics caught the attention of this writer.  I was around two years old.  “Lollipop” seemed the perfect name for the pup given to us by relatives.  The small rat terrier, white with a few black spots and a very short tail, was my very first pet.

When my brother and I were growing up on the farm, she was a constant companion.  Lollipop did not chase cats, but the farm provided her a wonderful place to run and chase rabbits.  At night, she slept in my doll bed.  During the day, I often dressed her—and later her pups—in doll clothes.  Summertime gave us many more hours to play outside with Lollipop.  Wayne would sometimes ride his John Deere tractor pulling a small trailer behind, and Lollipop would often ride in the trailer.  She was great with children.  In all the years we had her, I cannot remember Lollipop ever growling or snapping at us.  At the sound of thunder or loud noises, Lollipop would somehow open the screen door and come inside.

She became blind in her later years, but we kept Lollipop until she died.  I sometimes think about the little terrier as I read about therapy dogs in nursing homes, dogs used by schools for children to read to, or patients lowering their blood pressure by petting dogs.  Pets give us so much joy and unconditional love.  A special little dog named Lollipop certainly did!

Note:  Come and see us at the Grainger County Tomato Festival, July 27, 28, and 29 in Rutledge, Tennessee!  We will be signing our latest book, “Piddle Diddle, the Widdle Penguin, and the Texas Longhorns” as well as others in the series.