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.