Thursday, February 02, 2006

in praise of dogs

Yesterday was a very warm day in the Indianapolis 'burbs, even by the standards of this year's mild winter. Sam and I took our walk unusually late, as the evening was getting on toward twilight. We've covered this ground so often that I confess I'd moved onto auto-pilot. Sam knew that (oh joy!) the local hydrant was up ahead and I knew that I had some extra time before reaching home. Thus my thoughts were on the connections between Green Book, Brown Book and the sudden realization that they connected with a book by the historian I admire beyond all others, even my advisor (may he live forever) and the glory of making that link. Sam's attentions were on the hydrant, a mere yard or so away. The sunset was a lovely shade of rose.

Then: DANGER! EXCEITEMENT! Another dog, quietly resting on the porch with his family, saw Sam, broke his collar and his leash to run into the street and greet my dog.

Now, Sam is a polite fellow. The kennel folks always decribe him as a "model canine citizen." Yet I am his human and it is his duty to protect me. In his eyes I am a defenseless damsel and he slays my dragons. Sam will do the "sniff thing" and whatnot to be polite. At the same time, he's also getting on (sigh) in years and so is not as playful as he once was.He was happy to sniff the puppy in greeting, but the moment that the other dog tried to get my attention, he was not happy. "Grrr..."

It was clear that other dog said, "Well, OK, then I'll play with you..."

Did I mention that Sam is no longer young? He thought that the other dog (all of seven months) was jumping on me and growled again.

By now the other dog's owners had jumped in with a makeshift leash and pulled the puppy away. I was afraid that they would be upset with my (beloved) Sam and yell at me. On the contrary, they were kind, nice & funny, grateful that I knew their dog had only wanted to play with Sam (OK, and maybe he wanted an ear scratch from me) and we had a wonderful chat about dogs, Sam's age making him reluctant to romp, why dogs are awesome and how dull life is without dogs.

I've met the majority of my neighbors through having a dog, a fact that I'm sure pleases Sam. (He is a good dog, but does have an ego...)

During the summer lots of people walk their dogs. It's the folks who walk their dogs in snow and ice and freezing rain who seem to have a kinship.


Jason266 said...

Consider me kin...

Anonymous said...

I think I'll have to get myself an imaginary dog...


Bartleby said...

And that's how it ought to be always ... people drawn together when they meet by the common factors, of which their are many, in their lives.