Posted by: walkerswalkabout | September 15, 2014


Dogs are man’s best friend. I want to become the person my dog thinks I am. Working like a dog (myth). It’s a dog’s life. Let sleeping dogs lie. All dogs go to heaven. Yep, dogs have been around for awhile.

Once they were wolves. They hung around the fire. Our ancestors threw them a few bones. They stayed.

Then they moved into our houses. Some have had their smarts bred out of them. They are as dumb and decorative as ornamental silk flowers. Some are very smart. Like our dogs.

They came with my new wife/life, and love, Jo Anne. They have a proud heritage. Aussie shepherds. Miniature. Their barks are not miniature. They love interaction and entertainment. They crave attention. They are cunning, wise and innocent, all at the same time. When I walk to the refrigerator, they buzz around my feet like furry moths at a flame. Then they return to lollygagging in the laundry room. Or sneaking my chocolate when I am not looking. Not like the dogs I had as a youth.

Those were working dogs. In my own private Idaho, they were as essential as a garden hose or a shotgun or a deer rifle or a fishing rod or a tractor or a stick of dynamite. They earned their keep. They worked for a living. They pointed out where the edible feathered creatures were hiding. They chased down said birds when they dropped from the sky, felled by buckshot. They brought the birds back to the shooter, for a quick transfer to the frying pan. They kept away the wild elephants and giant feral hogs and R.O.U.S.’s. They guarded the children. And they were low maintenance. They ate the odd scrap left over from dinner, and they slept outside year round.

To be fair, our current dogs do howl at the moon and at the coyotes that live just over the hill from our Missouri country home. Thus do they keep the varmints and the moon at bay and away.

I was without dogs for several years, after Tess and Hannah died. Did not want to bury another dog. Dogs should live to their owners’ lifespan. And be buried with them, so they can frolic together first thing on the other side.

So now I have dogs.

When I need company, they are there. When I need attention, they are there. When I need a wet tongue mopping up spilled ice cream, they are there.

The dog Blue loves me. Especially when I have food.

The dog Fanny adores me. Unconditionally. All the time. Not bad.




  1. Lorin, Thanks for sharing the details from life with Blue and Fanny. Barb and I buried Saturn a couple years ago and thought we would not invite a dog back into our lives. But Jim and Angie bought a new house in an area that prohibited fences. So we took in Sophie and Miles as Jim’s family got adjusted and looked for a new home. One of Jim’s friends has selected Sophie. Now we have to see if these two dog partners can handle a future without one another. The grandkids, in-laws, and we are waiting to see how the two adjust.
    Speaking of adjustment. How is teaching going? Every fall, like migrating whooping cranes, professors leave their summer chores and return to classrooms. Tho I am retired my wings invite me to seek out students, most of them just leaving the nest for the first time. In the last couple weeks, I attended events and stirred a little more youth into my psychological mix. Let me know how your transition to teaching in a new place is coming along. Jim

    • Jim,

      I love the teaching. A little surprised by the amount of structure the students request… but some sharp, sharp students.

      Liking the new life; different but enjoy the freedom and being paid to read books and conjure up ideas.

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