A good name for him would be Bart. For whom, you ask? This big, shaggy, sweet-faced dog that we pass everyday on our way to work. Bart, after the celebrity grizzly bear who appeared in many movies and commercials and whose favorite thing was to take rides, standing up, in the back of a pick up truck. My Bart lies in the sun with his head between his paws, conversing intelligently with his fellows, or, on one occasion, licking his chops after a refreshing cup of tea. (It’s true, I tell you.)
Anyhow, in light of the fondness I’ve developed for him over the past few weeks, maybe one day I should just grab him and haul him into the car, then proceed to spend the day doing whatever he would like to do. (This would be quite a feat, considering he looks about as heavy as I am. However, I have been known to be quite grabby. Just ask my roommate about the Case of the Green Earrings.)
Many are the dogs to whom I have thus lost my heart. My neighbor in Florida had this enchanting Husky named Dermott, who had one brown eye and one blue. Then there was the seeing-eye Golden Retriever called Presley. When I was growing up our neighbors had a whole bunch of dogs: a pair of Dalmatians called Honey and Harley, a Great Dane, Henry, and a Doberman named Pogo. The first three were angels in canine form; Pogo was contrary and obstinate. We can’t recall the number of times we heard his master trying to get him to do this or that. “Sit, Pogo, SIT” would echo hollowly and ceaselessly from across the wall, while Pogo carried on doing exactly as he pleased.
Kaiser was the name of a Doberman of another friend. Kaiser had lost his heart to a girl Doberman (Doberwoman???) named Cindy and would take off racing around the room if you so much as said the name of his beloved. Once he jumped off the third floor chasing a dog, who, alas, turned out not to be Cindy, after all. Kaiser, being Kaiser, had landed on sand and wasn’t hurt in the least. I’ll never forget the sight of his master, in black and white striped pajamas, kitchen-cloth over shoulder (he’d been cooking up a hearty meal of rajma-chawal) chasing after Kaiser down the street.
The first dog I can recall our family having was called, sadly for him, Doggy. After Doggy met an untimely end, we didn’t have another pet for a long time. Presumably, having three strong-willed kids was about all my folks were ready to deal with. Then came pretty little Howdy, who ran away from her canine care center when we went out of town, and was never heard from again.
Uh, this could go on for a while. Suffice it to say that I am waiting to see Bart again on Monday morning.