"We like camping better!" --Raymond Alexander Kukkee

view of the north shore Critter Pond, KOA Canandaigua NY [c] 2009 jcb

Revisiting a dog's life

I was a little harsh with last night's posting. Today is Friday, and a Friday Song is due. Nothing strikes me as worthy this week, though. I did buy Miranda Lambert's acclaimed Kerosene CD, after hearing comments like "best debut album ever" on CMT. Haven't listened to it yet, but I'm sure it's wonderful. I will keep a sharper ear to the radio, at any rate. I've let at least two Fridays go by without a nomination. I could use some help, if you're interested. Click my email link to submit a song for consideration.

So let's get back to the whole dog thing. Dogs are wonderful; that's a known fact. (Is that redundant? hmm...) My first dog died before he was six months old. That was Scotty. My second dog was a treasure, but he was killed by a motorist, too. We didn't have leash-laws back then. That was Brownie, a lovely and brilliant border collie. If you own a border collie, you know how incredible that breed is. Gary Paulsen's final chapter in My Life in Dog Years is devoted to his BC, "Josh," who is alive and well (unlike most of the other dogs he writes about in that book). I mentioned my third dog last night, too: Champ. He was a regular collie. I learned the hard way that big collies like Champ need acres of room to roam. By the time we lost Champ I was pretty much at three strikes. I was seventeen.
2 boys and a dog
I'm sure there are thousands of people who feel they could not live without a dog in their life, especially people who have no children. I'm just not one of them, and I have kids. My boys have a dog, at their mother's house. Her name is Zelda (as in The Legend of...); she's a shepard-mutt with the strength of a bulldog and the disposition of a pussycat. I'm sure the boys would be devastated if anything were to happen to Zellie. She nearly drowned last winter when the ice gave way beneath her on a family-owned pond. My oldest thought about diving in after her but wisely decided in favor of the local volunteer fire department. Thank God. I'm also sure that Zelda would gladly sacrifice her own life to save one of my boys, if it were possible and necessary for her to do so. She likes me, despite my casual indifference.

I haven't had a dog of my own for about ten years now. The most recent one was banished after she bit the afore-mentioned eldest son--bit his nose in anger. That just ain't acceptable behavior. That dog had skin problems, which may have contributed to her unpleasant attitude. I'm trying to remember her name and hitting one of those annoying mental walls that will bother me a great deal more when I'm much older; I'll worry that dementia is creeping in. (So far, I almost never misplace my car-keys or forget where I was headed before I get there. Knock on wood.) I think if I was going to miss having a dog, then I would miss it by now. Certainly, owning a cat is no substitute for a proper dog. But I don't yearn for doggy companionship much these days. Please don't hate me for that.

Would I get another dog someday? Probably, if I lived somewhere rural. I think all dogs (at least the ones you can't carry around) deserve room to run. I feel sorry for big dogs who are cooped up in suburban homes on a quarter-acre. Plus you have to walk them on leashes and pick up their poop with a baggie. I'll bet they hate that. I'd hate the plastic-poop-bag duty. (Minor pun intended, there.) I used to take my last living-with-my-parents dog running with me. He loved it, and he kept me moving right along. I don't think I had to use a leash for that, then, either. Seems to me he used to keep left without a tether. It's been a few years, so my memory on that issue is a bit hazy. (No, that doesn't bother me, either. Yet.) Anyway, we're looking for a place in suburbia right now. I'm definitely not getting a pooch with "miniature" in his breed name. On the other hand, I wonder if the cat will be moving with us? Hmm. If it were strictly up to me, well, um. I'd better leave it at that, for tonight anyway.

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