Tuesday, January 07, 2014


I've been meaning to write a blog about dogs for some time--how important they are in my life and the lives of many I know, what I think of non-dog people (yeah, there's a bit of judgment), and how grateful I am to have Sophie for company. I'll get around to that eventually, but tonight I had a different kind of dog experience.
My longtime friends, Subie and Phil Green, came for a supper of leftovers--long story, but they were suddenly in town and called. Phil has been visually impaired ever since I've known him, and I think now he's almost completely blind, though he says he can read some on computers under certain circumstances. He brought his assistance dog--the second one he's had. I had to explain that idea to Jacob today because he'd never heard of it. Unfortunately he was gone when Subie, Phil, and Santiago arrived. I was curious about Sophie's reaction, and she was predictable--ran to sniff his privates right away. But she was ecstatic, and Santiago, now eight plus, was patient. Such a well-trained dog.
Sophie of course wanted all the attention and affection. When Santiago came to me to be petted, she was right there, wanting more than her share of the attention. But they really got along well, and Sophie behaved admirably, though she wanted to be in either Subie's or Phil's lap all the time--forbidden behavior in my house.
We caught Santiago eating out of her food (which I store in a small garbage can)--she's not big enough to get into it, but he is. Then Sophie was very quiet in the living room but there was a certain crunching sound. Subie said, "Someone is up to no good," and I said, "Santiago is right at our feet, but I can see Sophie and she's really concentrating." Of course she was--on the small basket of crackers we'd left on the table. She wouldn't come, wouldn't leave those crackers, until I descended on her.
In the backyard together, they were both fine, though the neighbors dogs went nuts.
The evening taught me that Sophie would love a companion--but it would have to be a well-behaved, well-trained dog. And Sophie would always want to be the alpha dog. Dogs with the extensive training Santiago had don't show up in rescue shelters often. But it's amazing to think what they can do for their owners.
Besides, it was a lovely, catch-up on the news visit. I will be glad when they are in town permanently, just a few blocks from me. Subie is already planning to take me on walks and museum visits and she'll probably get me out of the house more. There goes my temptation to be a recluse.

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