My earliest happy memory....
Is about a dog named Pongo.
But before I share his story, let me talk about a book given to me during Christmas, which you're supposed to use if you want to take great photographs. The aptly named Use This If You Want to Take Great Photographs: A Photo Journal by Henry Carroll was exactly what I needed to spice up the way I view the world and capture moments. Every page offers instructions that inspire aspiring photographers to take photos from a new perspective. I scanned through the pages and immediately found myself drawn to this line: photograph your earliest memory.
I was about 6 years old when my grandparents adopted Pongo. I was obsessed with 101 Dalmations and consequently found it fitting to name my first dog after the main character of the movie. I only ever really saw Pongo during summertime, when my mom and I would come to visit my grandparents. From what I remember, he somewhat resembled a slightly smaller version of a German Shepherd.
When he was a puppy, we would chase each other around the house until one of us got tired. It's the most carefree, childlike memory from my childhood. Growing up, I wasn't really around a lot of kids. We frequently moved to different houses which made it difficult to make friends with kids my age. But whenever I was around Pongo, I was a kid. My time with Pongo didn't last long, however. He got sick and passed away at a young age, but I remember always having a smile on my face whenever we were together.
As I write this, there's a pang of sadness for the loss of Pongo. But at the same time, I can feel every fibre of my being vibrate with happiness because I fortunately wake up every day to one happy dog. She may not have been my earliest happy memory, but Laska fills my every day with joy with her curious and unrelenting childlike nature. She greets me every time I come home, no matter how early or late in the night. She has a way of cuddling up next to me when she senses that I need comfort. At the same time, she has a way of annoying me every morning as she insists that it's time to play fetch.
My earliest happy memory is about a dog named Pongo, but every day I'm reminded of how lucky I am because of a dog named Laska. Since I don't have any photos of Pongo, I decided to take photos of Laska reminiscing and looking at "old photos" instead.
Now it's your turn: what is your earliest happy memory? I'd love to hear about it in the comment section below.