Love and dust in the air

Supposedly, the older one gets, the more one may be tempted to see if the younger members of the opposite sex still find an old dog attractive. At least this might explain the energy Dexter brings to the dog-park. His behavior today would have been embarrassing but for a couple other dogs also competing for a female’s attention.

For a neutered dog his whole life, Dexter was all worked up. With the exception of one man who came ahead of us, with a female Boxer and a female Spaniel, I knew all the other dogs and their people. It turned out, with all the attention that old neutered males – all normally playful most other days – on these two females, that we had dogs that wanted to breed. The man seemed not to be surprised.

“Where’s the salt peter?”, the dog-man (whom none of us “regulars” actually knew) chuckled. Salt Peter is a part of naval lore, a mystical ingredient put in the food of sailors at sea to temper any testosterone- or lust- inflamed attitudes. Thus a long time at-sea, between liberty ports, would remain mostly uneventful. The dogs’ unusual behavior irritated a couple women, whose dogs snapped at each other. We were all relieved when the fellow whose interest in dogs seemed only to be on the cash he might earn from breeding, took his dogs and left. His prospects for dog-wealth will be sidetracked one of these day. In my youth, an abandoned dog I rescued was not spayed. The mastiff/foxhound puppies that came a little later that year were adorable. Or so my then-girlfriend admonished me, as she relieved me of our relationship and the eight puppies I had no income to support.

As for my would-be amorous dog, I believe his behavior today might be my fault. I tried to roll up a back window of the car when we arrived at the park. “Tried” because Dexter’s head was sticking out of the window as we pulled in. His squeal startled me but a second later he was free.


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