Their family was
looking for a place to live in the city while house sitting for a man who
lived in the country. Where they were staying was just temporary until an
apartment could be located. When a stray dog wandered up it was evident
someone had dropped him off for the country people. Usually these strays
were just taken to the Humane Society but for some reason Franny could
not carry this one off. He had a sad wistful look. She believed he must
have been someone's pet.
The rush before
the evening meal always kept Franny feeling like she was skipping,
hopping, side-stepping or whatever was necessary to get food quickly to
her family. The children's days with school activities and her husband's
sometimes trying work were always made smoother with a good hot evening
meal. This evening was no different. Here she was juggling each dish
trying to see to it everything was ready at the same time. Setting the
table, rushing to the stove to turn a pan of fried potatoes, chopping
vegetables for a salad were all like a balancing act. Concentration can
make a complete meal for the family.
While she was
checking the dish in the oven, their Heinz 57 mutt came to the back door.
So far he was simply known as Dog. Just now he was barking with so much
persistence Franny had to go to the door.
matter?” Franny could see he was upset. He would run over to the door
and then to the back, around the side of the house and then again back to
the door, barking wildly. Franny had no choice but to investigate.
When the mother
saw her six-year-old son dressed in his father's coveralls, she knew why
the dog was so excited. The boy was bouncing on the trampoline. The too
long arms and legs of the garment were swinging in all directions. It
looked so strange to see the loose arms and legs actually flailing around
as he bounced. It was almost as if his limbs were coming off at every
“Oh dear! I see
why you are so worried, Dog! Son! You will have to take your Dad's
coveralls off. Dog is so concerned. He thinks your arms and legs are
While they were
enjoying their evening meal, Franny was telling her husband about the
dog's worried, protective, behavior. She mentioned how his fur took on a
spiked barbed look especially around the ruff on his neck.
“That dog reminds
me of a barb wire fence. This mutt is like the spiked looking fence
called barb wire used for keeping cattle which makes everyone tolerate
the sharp points on it because it is necessary to hold a herd from running
and getting out of the pastures.
From that day
forward the dog was not simply known as Dog but as Barb Wire. If anyone
asked about the weird name Franny would tell them the story about how the
dog was simply beside himself because he thought his boy was becoming
disjointed. She explained at a time of crisis he simply took on a very fur
on end, spiked appearance, like Barb Wire.
All the incidents
involved with Barb Wire were something the kids simply learned to
tolerate. The dog might nudge a kitten away from the street. He could
become a barking nuisance worrying a larger dog away from the baby in a
stroller. Always he was insistent on walking with the children on, the
inside, of the sidewalk while he was closest to traffic.
The name, Barb
Wire, was appropriate and stuck forever after the coverall incident even
though it started out just as a joke.