Anderson Family History

Peggy, the Center Store Dog

Peggy was a mutt, mostly rat-terrier, that spent most of her time in the store, greeting customers and getting handouts. She was an accomplished beggar that could con certain customers out of a treat whenever they came in. One who spoiled Peggy the most was O. G. Gustafson, the carpenter who lived just east of the store and south of the church.

O. G. would come in the store and buy a small sack of chocolate candy and then tease Peggy before sharing with her. He had a heavy Swedish accent and would say “Pedgie, ya vant a shoclate?” and then made her dance in circles to earn her treat. Peggy knew whenever he came in the store she would get some chocolates so she would jump around and dance in expectation of her coming treat.

Peggy also liked peanuts, in the shell, which she would chew up and spit out the shells. Peanuts in the shell came into the store in large burlap bags that held perhaps 50 pounds of peanuts. On one occasion I remember my mother blaming me for a pile of peanut shells in a corner behind the heating stove in the dining room. I denied having anything to do with this mess, and I don’t think I was believed for sometime.

What finally vindicated me was when Peggy was seen by Dad getting into the peanut sack and with four or five whole peanuts in her mouth, headed to her warm spot behind the stove. Proceeding to shell and eat the peanuts, the pile of shucks grew, and the blame was lifted from my young shoulders.

After that incident, the peanut sack was kept tightly closed, and Peggy had to beg for an occasional peanut instead of pilfering them on her own.

By Merland D. Howe, 2000.

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