Meridian Star

November 1, 2013

A favorite pet – Hi-Ball, the coon dog …

By Annie McKee
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — I was in dire need of a garbage disposal. You see we had just completed construction of our “dream house” and well, funds were low in the bank construction building account. Unfortunately the garbage disposal was an item that we lacked.

         For many months I complained loudly, “I so NEED a garbage disposal!” But alas no garbage disposal appeared — that is until Hi- Ball came into our lives.

         I shall never forget the excitement of the day when my husband entered the back door, with a shout. “Come and see what I have gotten for you!”

         My answer was, “Well, what is it?” I shouted this above the clamor of a noisy dishwasher.

         Again my husband repeated -- this time even louder. “Come and see. It’s something that you have been wanting!”

         My curiosity got the best of me as I edged toward the backdoor to take a look. There sat the most bony, gosh-awful specimen of a dog that I had ever seen!     In my “little cute doggies” mind’s eye I thought he almost looked embarrassed to be seen in decent company. These thoughts ripped through my mind as I tiptoed around this ugly, but seemingly kind-hearted beast, with the slightly wagging bony tail. His huge brown eyes followed my every move. Yes, I was sizing him up and down just trying to figure out what illusion I was under when I asked for one of these — whatever it was!

    My husband stood back with a grin from ear to ear.

    My first instinct was to get a broom and sweep this bag of bones right off of my deck, but then I took a second look at my husband and I could plainly see he was giddy with excitement over this, this, Coon dog! I’ll say it again — COON DOG!

    After I finally recovered my breath enough to yell, I pointed a shaky finger at my husband and loudly inquired, “What made you think that I would want this, this, dog?”

         As my husband looked at me I could see his excitement actually begin to deflate. He stammered, “Don’t you need a garbage disposal?”

    I answered slowly. “Yes.”

     My mind tried to catch up with the calculation of dog-equals-garbage-disposal. It just was not clicking.

         Practically in one breath my husband exclaimed that Hi-Ball’s momma was the Treeing Walker Double Night Champion and his sire the Field and Bench Champion. That’s when I knew, I really knew Hi-Ball was special even though I didn’t understand the meanings of Bench Champion or Night Champion. My husband continued with, “and ole Hi-Ball here will be the best garbage disposal ever!”

         Hi-Ball moved into our lives that very afternoon and lived as a member of our family for fifteen years and a mighty fine garbage disposal he COULD have been, for sure! But after (mainly myself) and our entire family relied on Hi-Ball for so many, many happy times in our lives, then a “garbage disposal” — oh, no! Only the very best was good enough for our Hi-Ball. If we had steak, then Hi-Ball had steak.     Not that he was a demanding puppy, because he wasn’t, but just because he was so loving and dedicated to our family.

         And, no, I never did have a “bought” garbage disposal. After Hi-Ball moved into our lives it just didn’t seem important anymore. I spent many, many happy hours watching the boys play (all four of them, including my husband and Hi-Ball), and I would remember the day when my husband eased this dog into my life, our lives, knowing at first I would resist, but also knowing my heart could NOT resist this warm-hearted, lovable companion.

         He was our family’s version of “man’s best friend” and indeed he was! Our Hi-Ball was more than a garbage disposal. He was a part of our hearts that we shall never forget.


Anne B. McKee is a writer and storyteller.  See her website: