“When you yawn and your dog yawns in return, it means he loves you. If he doesn’t try again later.” I share this pearl of wisdom from an independent-minded, home-where-you-find-it, kindly dog-man I met this afternoon.
But let me back up to the beginning.
With a couple of loving dogs, whose walk-clock was upset by my earlier than normal return home, they were anxious for a walk. But this also was a trade-off with my spouse who was going to clean and mop ahead of friends coming to supper. Taking the dogs in my little dog-car is fast becoming a humor piece all by itself. The car’s air conditioning system which is a stellar performer on relatively cool days, needed time to cool the plastic and cloth interior to only “uncomfortably” warm as we got on our way.
With the longest day of the year less than a week away, I had started and finished my work day early, so it still seemed like high noon when we parked under a tree. The Mission Trails Dam is a historical landmark – a restored vestige of the Spanish missionaries of the early 19th Century who diverted some river water to provide irrigation and storage for their mission in the valley. Partially restored in the 1930s, the dam has stood the time through bone-dry spells and large floods that provide all the greenery in the park a needed drink. But for Dexter, it was a long, cool drink and a chance to get wet. Why is it some dogs prefer streams and others are more elitist? I bought a gallon of refrigerated bottled water just prior to entering the park. Standing in a stream and drinking from it? Comet as a formerly homeless dog was having none of that!
As we walked back up the path we met Kevin and his dog Smokey; we engaged in small-talk as some dog-men are given to. He’s adopted Smokey, a 14-year old part-dingo on whose property he had been living for several years until Smokey’s owner passed away. It was definitely an act of kindness that only a dog-man would understand. You cannot appreciate Smokey without noticing a soccerball-sized tumor extending from his chest between his legs. Yet Kevin says – and Smokey’s friendly nature indicates that it does not impede him much. While I have no appreciation for the finances or mobility his late owner had, it does seem that this must have been growing for several of Smokey’s later years. Kevin and Smokey seem to be doing well as independent contractors. Kevin has been a caretaker of property that is now a preserve and Smokey is employed looking after Kevin. Both are thriving.