I WAS A DOG. I DID MY BEST.

With Tanner’s permission, we start the New Year on a bittersweet note. For the sweet part, we’re relieved to report (yet again) that our canine nomad Rex has found a home. According to a friend who volunteers at the Best Friends Sanctuary in West L.A. Shortly after his failed Thanksgiving adoption, a gay married couple stepped up and took him home with them. We have a our fingers (and paws) crossed, hoping that this one sticks, and that this doggie soap opera (As The Bone Turns?) has drawn to a final, happy close.

REX


Rex – fingers crossed!

As Rex begins his new adventure, another of our doggie bffs is fast approaching the end of his. The little guy has lived a long, happy, pampered life but lately his organs have begun to fail. Like all of us, he’s facing a relentless, undefeated foe – Father Time. It’s probably a shortcoming of my character but, ever since I was a boy, animals, and family pets in particular, have always touched me in a way my human counterparts don’t. Thinking about our friend’s aging pup, I happened to recall an article by writer Jim Krusoe that I read in the L.A. Times Book Section in December 1993 in which he detailed his lifelong infatuation with dogs. It moved me then and it moves me now, and so I thought I’d share a bit of it:  “And yes, like Rilke, I love dogs because they do trust us to figure out their problems and their pain, whereas I am incapable of even scratching the surface of my own. My favorite memory of my current dog (a setter–English, not Irish, just to show that like my parents, I too am capable of surprise in my advancing years) is of one day when he was six-months old and disappeared while out on a walk in the hills around our house. I found him thirty minutes later, apparently having chased a rabbit into a cactus patch, covered from the top of his head to his tail with broad, flat spines. Embroidered as he was with inch-long spikes, he simply refused to move and waited for me to come and find him, which I finally had. To remove the spines with a bandanna wrapped around my hand took another half an hour, and when I was finished he just got up, wagged once, and went looking for another bunny. I have the same dog now. I had chosen an English setter for the breed’s elegance and grace, but this one grew to a goofy giant of an animal with enough lip and jowl to sew into a beach blanket. Still, he has that look, and stares at me now, patiently waiting for me to open a door to let him out so he can run out into the back yard to bark at imaginary thugs and robbers and thus feel as if he’s accomplished something for the day. Which after all, may be the final reason I am so fond of dogs. Unlike us, they can act and not know what it is to measure themselves against every other dog who has ever barked into the vacant air or to doubt the importance of the act itself. For them, at the end, they can simply say, “I was a dog. I did my best. Now it is finished.” (entire article)

 T & C beach


 Tanner & Charlie on Colony Beach, 2009

Rebell HeadofMeadow n.TruroRebell @ Cape Cod circa 1987

 Dudley

with Dudley (aka – The Man-Killing Pug) circa, 1998

 animals - Roxanne, Blanche

Eugenie withRoxanne (the Dalmation from Hell) and Blanche cica 1995

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