Friday, January 6, 2012

Sepia Saturday 107 Year Post (Teofil and his dogs and pets)

About 1942 Teofil and his coon hounds
I can't match that  angora rabbit that Alan showcases this week, but I have some different pets, photos from the family archives.  In this family we have an animal;/pet loving gene, that goes at least as far back as my maternal grandfather, Teofil.  He was crazy about his dogs whether they were his coon hounds and hunting dogs which were carefully tended to outside or whether in later years domestic pets.  In this photo it was a Sunday so he was dressed up, notice the white shirt and tie.  But before they could journey across the river to Rose's (my grandmother and his wife) family gathering, Pap (as the family called him) insisted he had to first go home to check up on his dogs.  This gave him a break between church service where he attended reluctantly and the busy noisy activity with his wife's sisters for the day.  He enjoyed  the gatherings where he would adjourn with the men outside for a cold piwa (beer) and cigar after dinner, but he stalled going each time.   Rose, my grandmother would be very frustrated because they could have taken the bus  right from church across the river to her sisters and ridden with her sisters.  But Pap would have a respite using his dogs as an excuse.  She said he  liked those dogs better than anything; after enough weeks of that she began to  take the bus immediately after church with her sisters and let Pap go home alone to  pet his dogs, feed them or  whatever excuse he had.  He would take the later bus and join them later, problem solved, schedules rearranged, every body was happy.   They had no vehicles so it was bus or by foot. 
1956 Teofil has a woodchuck to tame, but it was summer
and Rose allowed it outside
 
I heard stories that Teofil could easily hunker in a bush and snare birds to tame them as caged pets; I do remember they always had beautiful canaries.  He  was intrigued with making pets out of groundhogs aka woodchucks. About  1930 he brought a groundhog into  their family  home in a coal town; it was cold outside, winter time and he'd found the poor furry creature shivering on his way home from the mine. He was a softy for animals.  He picked it up and brought it home; he would tame it later but for tonight, unbeknownst to Rose, it needed to warm up. Teofil  set the  creature in a small box near the wood stove that heated the home and went to bed, it was late, he'd worked an extra long double shift and Rose and the kids were already asleep.  Rose got up early in the morning and was not amused to discover the animal there, so she immediately  tossed it out side, or so it is speculated.  Later on when Pap arose, he looked at the small box where he'd left his rescued ground hog and found the box empty.  "Rose, where's  the guy?"  Something like that he asked.  She looked straight at him and  asked what he was talking about.  He told her how he'd found it cold, shivering and she looked at him and said he must have been dreaming, she'd never  seen a ground hog and what would it be doing in her kitchen anyway.  He had no proof and Rose admitted to nothing, so that was the end of that although he did have the kids scurry round about and search for it.  Rose did not bat an eye but went on cooking breakfast.  I thought this was so like my grandparents when I heard this story several years ago from Uncle Carl; if I'd known about it as a kid I would have found out the truth, but I can believe my grandma tossed the critter out with a good hurl.  She was an eat off the floor housekeeper.  I can only imagine her  keeping quiet and not admitting a thing.

This is my Sepia post...for more click on the title to this post and see what others are sharing.   

15 comments:

  1. This is so much fun to read! What a character that grandma of yours.
    You are lucky to have such stories to share with your grandchildren.

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  2. I love these old sepia photos, but love even more the stories behind them. Rose knew how to keep a secret.

    Happy New Year to you and yours.

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  3. Lovely story and pictures. I have a weakness for any old picture with a dog in it!

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  4. I always wondered what a woodchuck was. I can understand the need to check on his dogs.

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  5. Interesting story. When I was reading it, I was worried that the groundhog was going to get burned up in the stove, so hopefully it did just get tossed outside.

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  6. Bob, not a very good photo of the woodchuch, but they are fat and furry. Postcardy, oh that would have been a smell in the house. Can you imagine what that poor creature thought, first being carried into a home and then tossed out inthe cold AM, likely it avoided the sight of humans thereafter! Rosaria, both my grandparents were characters...but she was a very resourceful if old fashioned woman, and he was always up to something...

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  7. Glad the groundhog made a get away. I'm glad too that they found a way to both enjoy their Sundays.

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  8. A woodchuck? You should see the woodchucks, and other wild creatures that wander up our backyard in search of kitty food! Great post...his coon hounds were darling!

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  9. My Dad was far more animal-friendly than mum. I had to Google to find out what a woodchuck is - if Dad had brought one of them in, Mum would have had a coronary. He brought all sorts of things in - hedgehogs and bats I remember the reaction to particularly well :-) Jo

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  10. I think I might be more like Teofel than your grandmother as far as spending time with the dogs. I think it would have been fun to live with your grandfather, with possibilities for so many tamed wild animals around. I love old photos with dogs who are often so much a part of families and yet so often excluded. Some grandmother! My own mother was much like her - no animals in her clean house (except my father insisted on one boxer while I was growing up). Thanks for sharing the photos and stories, Pat.

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  11. Great story! I don't doubt that the woodchuck could be tamed. The Pica (relative of the woodchuck) become so tame in the mountains of Colorado that they are somewhat of a nuisance to hikers. If you take off your pack, they will untie it and steal your lunch in a matter of seconds.

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  12. My grandmother used to take in wild birds that had been hurt. She'd fix their wings, feet, etc. and let them recover in a large cage. Eventually she'd release them. When she died there was a pigeon and a robin that could not be released and hat become caged birds. I don't remember what became of them.

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  13. A woodchuck? That's a first for me! Hilarious.

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  14. Woodchuck, groundhog....some furry characters. Prevalent and pesky in the north eastern states like PA. We do have them in MN too, not as prevalent though. As to my granmaother, Nancy, I don't want to give the impression that she disliked animals but a wild one in her kitchen NOT...

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  15. A great tale, a great image, and a great animal (whatever it may be)

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