In 1933 my mother’s family lived in Hyde Park not too far from where President Obama’s Chicago house is located today.
My mother always wanted a dog, but her mother was not remotely interested in caring for or cleaning up after an animal. Unfortunately this didn’t stop my grandfather from parking in front of their row house one day, with a baby goat curled up on the back seat of the family car. The ‘kid’ was supposed to be part of an exhibit for the World’s Fair, but a man who worked there needed money (everybody needed money – it was the height of the depression) so he sold the goat to my grandfather – who I’m told was reputed to be an unrepentant practical joker.
My mother named the goat “P.D.” – short for Prosperity/Depression. She and my aunt fed him milk from a baby bottle and wheeled him around the neighborhood in their doll carriage until he was able to fend for himself. When he was older, they walked him on a leash and people would ask what kind of dog he was. He went on family driving trips to the Michigan Dunes and loved to climb the sandy hills.
One day, P.D.’s true goat nature took over when he escaped from the yard and chomped off the tops of the next door neighbors’ prized and pampered tulips. City living got to be too confining (and my already frazzled grandmother wanted to be on speaking terms with the neighbors again) so P.D. went to live with the milkman on his farm in the “country” – probably now some nearby suburb.
P.D. stars in several very old family movies – unfortunately all of his still pictures are glued into a photo album so all I have to offer is nice a photograph of my mom and aunt with another animal friend (not theirs, however).My mother is 88 years-old and with minimal encouragement and a good glass of wine, will be more than happy to recount the tale of her unconventional city pet.
**Update** Just uploaded digitized family film of P.D., mom her sister and Grandma!