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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One Man's Dog

This sign perhaps translates as "beware of the dog" (attention: French scholar-daughters), although it was seen in Venice Beach, CA where one imagines any number of alternative interpretations. One could have used such a sign when one first started walking the roads of Owls Head some 15 years ago. The number and variety of dogs was significant: shepherds and goldens and hounds and mutts displaying the gamut of social and anti-social behavior. Canine activity has lessened greatly in recent years (on my walks this week I've seen none), whether because of leash-law enforcement, complaints by terrorized walkers and owners of dirtied lawns, or economic conditions, I don't know. Of course, it's still winter and dogs with any sense are dreaming by their woodstoves.

I take it back, I did see one dog, the magnificent black standard poodle Mozart, who lives next door with Kathleen and Harriet and two more wonderful standard poodles. Mozart is special though, being a huge version of our own black miniature poodle. Mozart was walking Kathleen up the road as I was walking down. He asked where Mia was, she asked if I was lonely without her. (Mia had opted to stay in MA this week to be with her older sister on break from college.) Without thinking, I said, "Yes." Then I thought about it and said, "Yes."

Dogs do become part of the family, part of the soul, in spite of the walks and the throw-ups and the grooming and the expensive boarding when the parents want to travel and the disdain/fear/condescension towards any being with more than two legs and the unvarying insistence on playing tug at exactly five o'clock every day - our very own chien bizarre. This from a guy who always thought he was a cat man.

1 comment:

Kate said...

"Chien Bizarre" translates to exactly what you think it does, and it's not the typical signage in France either, which would read "Attention au chien" or even "attention, chien mechant" (mean dog). That said, "chien bizarre" does quite describe our puppayes, since she really thinks she's a human.

Great post, Daddy!