Like most dogs, Ernie smells like a dog. It’s been awhile since he’s had a bath so he currently REALLY smells like a dog. Every time I kiss his head, my lower brain stem reaction is “he smells just like Dad’s old house”.

One of the nicknames for my Dad’s old house was Rundown Acres. It was an old farm house with uneven floors, ratty carpet, resident wasps in of all the upstairs rooms and some of the biggest spiders I have ever seen.

He always had a variety of dogs and cats in and out of the house. There was a “housekeeper” he called Bird Legs, a very nice lady that came over every couple of weeks to do the laundry only, but other than I don’t remember ever seeing any cleaning take place. One summer the place was infested with fleas. My mom was completely mortified when Beerly Sr. dropped me off after a several week visit covered head to toe in flea bites.

There are also many fond Home Zoo childhood memories of Rundown Acres. There was the time that all the cats gave birth around the same time so there were at least 20 kittens, my favorite childhood dog Duchess, and a slew of other great cats and dogs… one stinky sniff of Ernie brings it all right back. As a kid I knew Rundown was stinky, but I didn’t really know why. It’s always satisfying when a childhood mystery is solved.