Wednesday, November 25, 2009

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Taking it Easy

By Fred
It's 6:00 am, still dark, and the dogs and I have already had breakfast and coffee. Bingo is sleeping on the floor next to me in the office--unlike most of the dogs I've had, he likes to sleep on the bare floor instead of a rug. If winter ever gets here, we'll see if he changes his mind. All things, like cold weather, are new for a puppy. It's a wonder they are so smart.

Like me, Bingo is recovering from surgery, though he is much less likely to talk about it or show off his scar. He was successfully neutered, or fixed (both terms seem unfortunate), a few days ago, and we're supposed to keep him quiet for the next week. You can't tell it from this picture, but it's not always easy to keep him quiet.

Probably my favorite dog of all time was Matt, a German Shepherd/Lab mix who lived about 15 years and was never neutered. I lived in rural Arkansas much of this time (back before I met Cheryl) and Matt could run free night and day. He had a long-term girlfriend--a wild dog (literally wild, she lived in the woods and hunted for food). She had Matt had a tempestuous relationship, as you might expect, on-again off-again, and sometimes Matt would disappear for days, only to return tired and hungry, then go off again. But then we moved to Arizona and settled down. I got married, but poor Matt never found his soul mate.

Until I became involved with the guide dog program, I always felt a little sorry for city dogs, that they lived the proverbial dog's life. But now I realize that the guide dogs have a very interesting and purposeful life, doing things that my dog Matt could never have done. Bingo will never run wild through the woods with a pretty girl, but he will have the best life a dog ever had.

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