?? - c. 1951
Gordo was the first dog we had in the house in Kingsbridge, and to be honest I barely remember him. I have a dim image in my mind of a little white dog with a brown streak on his left side, and that's all. There exists somewhere a film my mother made of a Halloween party: such a dog streaks through the frame at one point, and that may be him. If so, that's the only picture ever taken of Gordo. And I recently came across an old home movie in which my late father is washing a scruffy looking black-and-brown mutt in a laundry tub. That film was probably made about 1950, since it shows the basement of my home before renovations my parents made in about 1951-52. I don't remember that dog in any way; but my elder sister once told me there was a dog before Gordo. If that film was made in 1949 or so, that may be him; or it may be that my memory is flawed and it really is Gordo in the tub. Not that it matters 60+ years later, I suppose.
Since we got Penny sometime in 1951, and Gordo was gone before then, I could only have been about 4 or 5, so my memory of him is necessarily faulty. I once asked my late father whatever happened to him, and the answer I got was, "Who knows? He left us as mysteriously as he came!" Given the absence of leash laws in NY City at that time, I imagine Gordo, like so many of his kind, died under the wheels of an automobile. Even so, I think the fact of his existence—however brief it may have been—should be at least recognized.
A ghost, a phantom,
A brief flash of memory,
And yet he did live.