Friends of Nipper
Celebrating Carie - July 3, 2009
Since Carie is a dog (and a Friend of Nipper) and since I am one of the people that knew Carie best, I'd like to document her remarkable string of attending Friends of the Phonograph Birthday parties and say a few words about her life.
Carie attended 13 Phonograph birthday parties so other than my wife and myself, she has the consecutive attendance record for Phonograph parties. It's not surprising that she would want to attend all of those parties because Carie was that kind of dog: loyal, always ready for the next activity.
Carie never got to eat any cake but she loved seeing who had come to celebrate the Phonograph's birthday and on any occasion when she heard the doorbell she would immediately bark and go to the door but after a few sniffs she always was a good host and friend to all visitors.
Though most of her generation didn't grow up with record players in the home Carie was fortunate to have lived in a house where there were always a few Edison's Phonographs around. And she learned early on that music could miraculously come out of a horn with a few winds of the crank.
The rival terrier that Carie had to compete with all of her life named Nipper, the famous trademark for Victor and later RCA, was one of the most important advertising icons of all time. Looking back I should have been more considerate about how many times I invoked the name of "Nipper" in our house. My oldest grandson and I used to play a game called "scissors" and when I got him between my legs I wouldn't let him go until he said the secret word which was usually "Nipper" or "phonograph" (as he was young and I was trying to teach him something about the phonograph). I should have chosen the secret word to be "Carie" more often since Carie was the secret to so much joy and so many good memories.
I think somehow Carie must have been related to Nipper but I'll never be able to prove it. Though not as famous as Nipper she was a "good girl" and we think of her often. And we certainly give her an extra thought each December 6 on the Phonograph's birthday as she was a unique Friend of the Phonograph.
Carie's Life (Non-Phonograph related) 1996 - 2009
Carie was born in Hastings, Nebraska on January 8, 1996. Her father was Sir William Konrad of FX. Her mother was "I Love Lucy She's a Keeper." We got her on March 3, 1996 when we lived in Lincoln and that is where she grew up. Though she also lived with us in North Carolina and Colorado, I think she always considered Lincoln her home as she had a big yard and our kids were young and I'm sure she always remembered the deck we had in the backyard that she loved to leap from.
Carie was our companion for many activities besides the annual Phonograph birthday party. She came on car trips to the Tetons and Yellowstone, to the North Carolina beaches, to Estes and the Rocky Mountains and to our many trips to Lincoln to visit family and friends.
Carie loved being outdoors, always helping with barbecuing, trotting out to the grill and waiting patiently while I'd go in the house and perhaps not return for 10 minutes while the grill warmed up. She'd still be there sitting by the grill when I brought out the food to cook.
If I needed to do some work in the front yard I'd return later and she would still be by the back door that I had exited from, patiently waiting to join me for more work in the backyard. She was a good gardening companion and would plop down next to me while I pulled weeds or planted flowers. She was alittle hard on the Asiatic Lilies because I unfortunately planted them in an area of the yard that she seemed to need access to if she heard someone over on the walking trail on the other side of the fence.
I was always amazed that she even knew someone with a dog was over there as it was quite a distance and she didn't have a line of sight to the walking path. Even in her later years, when she didn't have very good eyes, she knew what was going on in ways apparently only a dog can know.
Carie lived in four houses and in two of the four houses there was no fence when we moved in so we had to install one. She lived a sheltered life, which is another way of saying she couldn't be trusted to wander around the neighborhood on her own.
When we got Carie we read in a dog book that said Terriers are "relentless" ball chasers, but we really didn't know the meaning of relentless until we introduced her to a ball. She could chase one for hours.
In the end Carie taught us much more than simply a new definition of "relentless."
We'll always be grateful for our time with the dog that we remember as our "good girl."