Little First Times

Puppy Stan
Puppy Stan

I get a reminder of ‘little first times’ every single morning when I hear Puppy Stan bark. He didn’t make a sound for what seemed like months after I got him and then one morning I heard a single deep bark emanating from the back garden where he was having his dawn sniff.

While I heard that first bark, I attributed to a huge German Shepherd who lives down the road a bit. But, it has happened every morning since and it was Stan. It’s like his bark was made to match the depth of colour of his black coat.

Every morning when I hear that single bark, I still get a jolt. The jolting has made me think of all the ‘little first times’ that occur in our lives. I’m not talking about mega first times that have been designated in ‘rites of passage’ terms. No, just little things.

However, the more I’ve thought about all this, and I’ve been thinking about it for about nine months now, I’m reckoning that ‘little first times’ can, in fact, be hugely important even though we don’t realise it until later on. Also, when you think about it,  every single day is a ‘first time.’

Guess who has just come up to drag me away from the computer and off to see some more Summer colour?


I’d love to hear your thoughts on First Times, especially little ones!

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

22 thoughts on “Little First Times”

    1. Val, ‘love at first sniff’ says so much! Unfortunately, Stan has been viewed as a major threat by a little dog son Harry rescued who has been here about 4 years now and still hasn’t lost his insecurities. I often wonder if Stan was Stanietta how it would have turned out.

    1. Andrea, I reckon each dog helps us experience the world anew. I’m beginning to think that cats have developed a lot of courage since we first had dogs. The ones around here sit their ground and don’t seem, to have read the bit about dogs chasing cats!
      Even when my King Charles, Sophie, was in her final days, she’d take off like lightening after every cat in sight. Maybe it’s a male dog thing!

  1. When our oldest boy was about six he received money for his birthday and wanted to get a dog. We went to the pet store and there was a German Shepherd/Doberman Pincer puppy. Well..this was his choice. At that time we rented a four room half a house (cape style) and had a huge back yard for the puppy. Our son named him “Ralph”…he was so cute and easy to train to do his duty outside. The first time we left him at home was when we went for an outing in our car. Well when we returned he had chewed up a gift from my brother to me from his stint in the airforce..a Swiss Alp boy doll that I had sitting on the shelf in our living room was nothing but sawdust..I wasn’t too happy with Ralph and he knew it ..tail between legs and looking guilty. There were other times that he got into mischief but the good outweighted the bad. He was with us until our son was a teenager. In those days a leach was not used as they are today..he got into something and we found him at the end of our driveway. This was the saddest day for all of us…I never could bring myself to get another dog. We have had alot of grandpets dogs and cats that in their own way stole our heart. I love your dog Stan he riminds me of my sons’ dog (now gone) named Buster….same breed and color.

  2. Lovely thoughts on Stan, …. what can I say we were with our youngest son and his family Sunday, to watch my son hand his son a toy and hear my grandson say Ta! in his tiny voice, to see him get up and toddle across the kitchen , to see him stuff a whole piece of halumi in his mouth! Maybe not earth shattering but so special to me!!

  3. First time I ever had Smith Tea Lord Bergamot No. 55: I opened the packet and smelled–the bergamot they use smells the best of any tea I have ever had. Every time I open one to brew tea–every time–I have to inhale the fragance.

  4. Jean, strangely I’m more fascinated by ‘last times’, the ones you don’t yet realise are ‘last’. Oh, while on the subject there used to be a pub in St Helier called ‘The First & Last’ where the militia guys from Fort Regent had their first drink when allowed into town, and the last one on the way back to barracks 🙂

    1. Roy, ‘last times’ are fascinating too ~ though I suppose I tend to think of them as being more on the sad side (though they can bring great relief!)
      I love the way the pubs in the UK and Jersey have those interesting sorts of names ~ rather than the name of the proprietor, which seems to be the norm here.

  5. Ah, lovely post and lovely thoughts. Sweet Stan – doing his early morning manly bark. So cute. The first time our golden barked was just as surprising to me – the funniest thing was the expression on his face, like – did I just do that??

  6. That’s a great photo of Stan, Jean. I tend to remember lasts and onlys. Although I have to admit, when i trained to haul fuel with a tanker and after 3 weeks with a trainer my very first shift alone was night time and snowing lightly in February. I had a B-train tanker – two trailers , one hooked to the other and 80 feet long. I pulled into the Exxon loading terminal and I was the only one there. I flashed my card and the gate opened and I pulled around the loading platforms to line up for loading. This unmanned site is computer controlled and I was super-aware of the huge gas storage tanks with millions of liters of gas and the loading racks and piping and pumps and computer screens. And I was so worried about something going wrong – and I could see only my tire tracks in the light snow where I had entered the loading rack. And the orangish halogen yard lights had turned everything the same color. The loading went well as I was well trained yet the eerie feeling of being alone with all this gas and equipment took some time to fade.

    Here’s a picture of the gas tankers we drove:

  7. Paul, the thought of driving a tanker like that gives me the shakes! I’d be calling that a ‘big first time!’
    Yes, ‘lasts’ and ‘onlys’ are very significant. ‘Only’ has so many connotations, doesn’t it?

    1. Ummm, indeed it does. Technically everything we do has some aspect of “only” but in the big picture we tend to group like things together so “only” becomes “one of” – a subset of one, with no like or comparable action/feeling/occurrence. (For instance you can say -I’ve only gone down this street in this direction once. But in reality you’ve traveled many other streets like it and have gone down the same street in the opposite direction many times – technically an “only” but not a “one of”). I did visit Paris only once and will not likely ever go back (I loved it but with health and financial considerations – won’t happen again) and those memories are as bright today as if they happened yesterday instead of 30 years ago. At the time I was aware that this would likely be an “only” and it seems my memories are much stronger because of that.

      You are right Jean – “lats” and “onlys” are very special as are “firsts”. 😀

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