Throwback Thursday: Rip
One of My First Memories of a Dog
I recently came across some old photos, including one of my mom and her friend Anne Barnes on vacation in Maine. I got to thinking about Rip, a black Labrador Retriever the Barnes family owned back when I was a little kid. I remembered that Rip was a very well-trained hunting dog. For some reason, I also had a very vivid memory of a watercolor of the Barnes kids, Lesley and Jason, Mr. Barnes, and Rip. I asked Mrs. Barnes about the painting and she sent me this scan of a “version” of it.
The first thing you’ll notice, I’m sure, is the big LL Bean logo on top. You’ll also note that the dog in this painting is not a black Lab. Lesley had this to say about the painting (and why I describe it as a “version” of the original):
The story on that image … is that my parents have a beautiful painting of Dad, Jason, Rip and me on the mud flats in Cape Porpoise, Maine, done by Francis Golden. I think my dad gave it to my mom as a gift one Christmas. For whatever reason, in 1997, Francis was commissioned by L.L. Bean to do a cover image for the catalog and he repainted the painting but substituted a Golden for Rip… we thought the more recent painting was a bit of a slight to Rip!!
I guess LL Bean thought blonds had more fun? Or maybe Golden Retrievers are somehow more “New England-y” than Labrador Retrievers? Who knows?
I asked the Barnes family what they remembered about Rip: Lesley said he was “awesome” and Mr. Barnes told these stories:
Rip was a great waterfowl dog who could swim all day in frigid water and then come home and sleep in the kids’ beds.
He knew how to heel – I once heeled him off-leash through the Montreal airport accompanied by a RCMP in full uniform who was convinced I was an undercover agent with a drug-sniffing dog.
He was a very soft mouthed dog – I made a lot of money betting that he could go into the kitchen, pick an egg out of a bowl on the table and bring it back to me in the living room whole!
As I said: Rip was incredibly well-trained!
Here’s one of the pictures of Mrs. Barnes and my mom in Maine. They are on the very same mud flats from the painting.
All in all, a nice, nostalgic post for Throwback Thursday!