I find this hard to believe. I checked out a book from the Lower Makefield library, “The Language of Dogs.” It’s not that I checked out a library book, I have been known to frequent libraries and read books. But a book about training your dog. I have only read Chapter 1 but I like Jason Silver’s philosophy. Each dog is unique. No educational program fits all. Listen to you dog. Walk with him or her. The same for owners. Not all are the same.
Diane is the real dog person. On her first day of retirement she announced: I want a dog. Despite the fact that I had commented to a canal dog walker that a dog would be neat, Diane and I argued. We will be traveling a lot. Dogs take commitment. Helen and Scott Nearing warned about animals back in the 1960s (They were back to the earth guru’s, vegetarians, communists — you get the picture). No farm animals; and no pets. But Diane wanted a dog, so I said OK. We traveled a lot in the summer. Delay. But only a delay.
Diane always had dogs. Ike, Blondie, Echo, Champ. Her family dogs. All had stories. As a kid, I had one dog. General Electric. Is that a name? My father had won the dachshund in a GE promotion. My memory is that he frequently escaped our Mill Steet apartment and eventually disappeared ( this was before the cloud).
Our first dog was Nico, a Schnauzer. Name came from a commitment to stop smoking ( never happened). Breed because the Mignoni’s had a Schnauzer, Max. I remember walking Nico on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. A very nice dog. My parents took him when we went into the Peace Corps. We never reclaimed him.
Luce (or Luz), a cream Labrador Retriever was our next dog. Fun. Remember taking her hunting in New York. No game shot. Her first litter of pure breeds paid Diane ‘s tuition at Trenton State. The second was a mistake. I remember a basket at Rice’s in Upper Makefield — free pups. Luce made it from Yardley to New Hope, to Bristol and back to Yardley. She ran away once and never came back. Diane says the local dog catcher found her body. A nice dog. Good memories.
Our next was Put (Putnam County, Diane’s home county). A Golden Retriever. Another great dog but wild. Loved to run on the canal, chasing a muskrat or his shadow. Classic evening was his swimming in circles chasing ducks on Garlits Pond. What do you do? Gene Reimer, the town dog catcher showed up ( guess someone called him). Gene jumped into the water and pulled Put out. Why didn’t I think of that! Since Put pulled so much, Diane went to the SPCA and got Freddie. It was presumed that Jenny would walk Freddie. He was small. Or smaller than Put anyway. But he was also neurotic. I didn’t like Freddie a lot. I guess he had some endearing points. But . . .
The the best part of the Put and Freddie duo was their escapes. Leave a crack in the back door and they were off. Down the canal for a multiple day escapade. We got calls days later, miles away. We think we have your dogs. Was Put or Freddie, the ring leader? Put died one rainy night. For me it was quite an experience. On the deck, after hours, he sighed his last breath. I dug a hole in the back yard and buried him. Very sad. Freddie hung on for several years. As neurotic as ever, on drugs, crazy from my perspective. But like us all, he had his moments.
And now there is Mister Mosley. Named by Eli and Viv. I have taken a liking to Moe. We walk several miles every morning. He pees every few hours (a man-dog after my heart). Rides well in the car. Sits or lays near my feet when I am reading or working on the computer (that’s some significant time). Moe and I are hitting it off.
Actually glad Diane pushed the issue. And we have a dog. I think Moe will live up to his potential.
I look forward to tomorrow’s walk. Walking, smelling at a dog’s pace is a different perspective on life. And we all need that.