My favorite dog

Everyone's favorite dog may be famous like Lassie, or Pluto, or Snoopy. Everyone's favorite dog may have a plain name like Ruff, or Tag - or a fancy name like Sheba or Trixie. But my favorite dog is a comic-strip dog. He first appeared in the pages of The Christian Science Monitor in the 1920s, and now I'm reading of his adventures once again. On my desk is a dogeared (pardon the pun) copy of ``The Diary of Snubbs, Our Dog.'' The pages are loose from the binding, the once bright blue cover is faded and somewhat stained with all kinds of interesting smears and colors - milk? cookies?...

Let me tell you about this book - and Snubbs.

Long ago when my husband John and I were very young children, we came to love Snubbs. I read about Snubbs when I lived in Wilmington, Del., and John read about him in Evanston, Illinois.

Isn't it good that children all over the country - all over the world - could come to know Snubbs? Well, to get on about my favorite dog.

One bright July morning little Johnny received a terrific birthday gift from his grandmother. It was carefully wrapped in clown paper.... Do you think it was a toy clown, with movable arms and legs? Was it a clown music box that played circus music?

No, Johnny's present was this volume, ``The Diary of Snubbs, Our Dog.'' It was a splendid-looking book in 1933, when Johnny was seven years old.

Oh, there are such funny stories and pictures in this book. Snubbs acted like a clown himself at times! He had many animal friends called Togo and Jerry and Spike, who were neat dogs, and he had great times with Sponge and Buzzy, who were cats.

One of the best features of these animal adventures is that Snubbs is the storyteller. He discusses the advantages of long and short tails. He talks about being a valet and delivering slippers to the dad of the house. And he describes his bath time as ``Ugh!'' (Still, he felt so good afterward, he went for walks to show off to his friends.)

Snubbs had a ``favorite person,'' and guess what he called him. It wasn't Bill or Jim or Lee, or Jos'e or Tony or Sean. No. His favorite person was a little boy he called ``the Boss''! That's a pretty funny name. (Do you have any funny names or ``nicknames''? When we were children, my husband and I were called ``The Judge'' and ``Gramma''! I guess that's because we seemed older than our years.)

So don't you think I'm fortunate to have this special book on my desk today? It is wonderful that many years ago a thoughtful mother wrapped this Snubbs book in cloth and paper and put it in a big brown envelope.

This thoughtful mother knew ``Snubbs, Our Dog'' had been Johnny's most-read book, and since he was entering high school, it should be packed away in a box where it would be safe and sound.

Do you have a best-loved book? Very likely your mother will keep it safe after you have read it many times. Then when you are grown up, you may sit at your desk and enjoy it all over again.

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