It was right about this time - in mid-Fall 1982, when we lost Boo Boo, the little American Toy Shag of Erie Street, Rochester, New York (my hometown).
I was in Los Angeles with my cousins Evie and David, and I remember my sister Pam calling and telling us the unfortunate news.
All of us, of course, were devastated.
I remember talking with my Dad later; he explaining how even he cried when Boo died....how he took little Boo's body to Uncle Tony's backyard on Lime Street - where my father grew up - and buried little Boo there.
My Dad did so for a few reasons...but he told me about one reason in particular.
Decades before, when he was just a little boy, his favorite dog died - and he cried then, too. But he didn't bury that dog in the Lime Street backyard. Instead, he buried him in the empty lot that was behind Lime Street.
Dad would have buried Boo there, too...next to his little dog's grave from the past. But on that lot now stood a gas station.
So burying Boo directly in Uncle Tony's backyard was the next best thing.
Either way, it was a fitting burial for two little pups that clearly meant a great deal to a whole lot of humans.
And yet, Aunt Amelia, my Mom's sister, used to say that Boo was "just like a little human being."
And as I look back, of she was right. We all thought that.
Love you, Boo...and miss you...but we all know you're up there in Heaven...with my Mom and Dad, Herbie P. and Frances Turri; Uncle Carl and Aunt Elva, Aunt Amelia, Aunt Rita (who so loved Boo, too!), Aunt Antoinette and Uncle Joe; Uncle Tony, and all the other good souls whose lives you brightened with your happy waggin' tail - and that little puppy smile that by the grace of Heaven somehow became human - and which now remains eternal.