Deborah White

Rookie (15/11/1973 / London)

I Remember Randy - Poem by Deborah White

For almost forty years since I was a small slip of
a girl, I have tried so very hard to remember my
tiny yellow puppies name. But it just never came.
I could see us in my mind’s eye, playing together.
But because I just could never remember what we
called him, the joy was severed it wasn’t the same.
Then only a moment or so ago simply out of no-
where, and I don’t really know why; I remembered.
He was called Randy. Strange but I was only just
turned nine, and everything about him seemed
to disappear, vanished with the passage of time.

I recall now my six year old younger brother gave
our precious sweet puppy his name. He called him
after Randolph Scott one of the most popular, and
his favourite Cowboy at that time. Randy for short,
we all thought, sounded just fine. My dad out of the
blue brought Randy home from the pub one day. I
think he was drunk, my softy dad just couldn’t say
no. So here he was my puppy sitting on my bed,
peeing on my floor. Just as well we weren’t well off,
with oil cloth not carpets; wall to wall, door to door.

I think my little yellow friend could have been no
more than six weeks old. He was unquestionably
the most gorgeous puppy in the world. Tiny soft
funny and yellow, the cutest delightful playful
floppy fellow. He sort of lolled about and rolled
from side to side, and he had huge paws which
padded this way and that. I remember thinking
Randy’s not a dog he’s going to grow to be a big
massive lion, and I’ll ride him to school bare back.

I had to share him with five others, but being the
eldest I knew, if I just bided my time the novelty
would soon wear thin, they would get bored and
tire of him, then Randy would really be mine. After
only a few short days no-one bothered anymore, no
one wanted to play with him, walk him brush him,
feed him or clean his wizz off the floor. They just
wanted to play in the street with the rocking horse,
their old toys, and all the other girls and boys.

My puppy had a blue collar I remember I didn’t
have enough to buy him a lead, but then that really
didn’t matter. Until I could save a shilling or two
I borrowed a long piece of my mam’s washing line.
Tied with a small loop for a handle, it did just fine.
Hours and days of fun we had, my very best yellow
friend and me. Mam nearly always had to shout us
in for tea. We played out in all kinds of weather
just me and my Randy always together. Playing
in the streets, in the garden, in the fields, in the
park; sometimes even playing out well after dark.
I promised Randy that I would love him forever and
ever, and that I would never leave him. Never, never.

Then one day I came home from school late, and I
saw someone must have accidently left the gate. He
was gone, I didn’t know where and I didn’t know why
but I searched the streets for ages and boy did I cry.
For what seemed like hours I looked everywhere for
Randy, then I saw a little yellow bundle lying on
the path silent and still. No movement no sound. I
tried gently to stand him up but he just whimpered
quietly and slumped lifelessly to the ground.
Young as I was I understood he was badly hurt, but
my dad was out, probably at the pub my mam was
at work. I had to take him five miles to Marlborough,
near the old bus station in the City Centre, the PDSA,
I didn’t have any bus fare but I could walk I wasn’t
scared I knew the way. So I set off still crying my
heart heavy and sore, I wanted so desperately for him
be fixed, so that I could play with my lovely little
yellow fellow, and bring him safely home once more.

I didn’t get very far, through rivers of tears I just
wasn’t looking where I was going. I was crying too
much as I crossed Stamfordham Road, I didn’t see
or hear the car, It was a red mini I think I remember
it smashed into my legs and I went flying through.
the air. Was I hurt? It didn’t matter. I really didn’t
even care. All I could think about was Randy lying
there. I was dizzy and sore and sat for a long while
saying I was OK. I didn’t want to get wrong off my
mam and my dad for crossing a busy road when no
one else was around. I just wanted to be back on my
two feet and heading with Randy straight into town.
So I told the driver I was perfectly fine, I wasn’t
at all bad. He was shaken and crying but I knew
he was thankful he wasn’t going to get into any
serious trouble too. To my nine year old eyes he
looked immature, a new driver, a young bit lad.
I don’t think he knew best, what else he should do?

So I walked the five miles to Marlborough, the PDSA
they were kind and nice and they took Randy away.
I didn’t get to say goodbye to my lovely little yellow
friend I never saw him, or played with my little pup
ever again after that day. I don’t remember how I got
home, and I never ever until now, told about the car.
All I remember is I fretted and I pined, I missed him.
And I wished for Randy back, for a very long time.

I loved him so very much, I could never understand
why for forty years I couldn’t remember my lovely
puppies name. I had lots of other pets since, but it was
not the same. Randy was the love of my life, my best
friend, my buddy, my pride and joy. My wonderful
special gorgeous fun boy. so why did I shut right
down and let myself forget; like we had never even
been best ever friends, like we had never even met?
All my life since, it seemed like he was gone from
me for all time. I tried but I couldn’t remember. But
now, and I don’t know why I will never know; for
some reason I have suddenly remembered, and I see.
My lovely little Randy has come home, his memory
Is where it has always belonged; safely back with me.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, October 3, 2008

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