Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I was going through some old photos the other night, and among many frightening reminders of the past (who let us go out in public in some of the clothes we wore?) were some really sweet photos that made me stop and think about the more pleasant moments in the past. More pleasant, at least, than wearing Spandex mini shorts to a restaurant, or thinking that eyebrows the size of Snickers bars were flattering. I came across a photo of my faithful companion of 15 years, Buck. Buck was, I can safely say, one of the most beautiful dalmatians I've ever seen. He was also one of the most intelligent dogs I've ever met (and I've met quite a few). Unfortunately, he was also one of the most annoying creatures ever to grace the planet. He stole food from strangers when they weren't looking. He ruined furniture. He shed so much that nearly a decade after his passing, I'll occasionally find one of his hairs embedded in a piece of memorabilia. He was notorious for his room-clearing farts. Perhaps most annoying was his refusal to shake hands. It's probably just me, but I love a dog that will shake on command. Buck, despite learning other tricks and following complex verbal commands, particularly when food was involved (i.e. "the treat is in the side yard behind the pecan tree resting on the garden gnome's hand") would simply look to the side, embarrassed, when I would ask him to indulge me and give me his paw. Mind you, he never once did it in his fifteen years with me. Not once. It really pissed me off. It became the ultimate anti-trick. Everyone talks to dalmatians, and everyone asks dogs to shake. And he never willingly put his paw in a person's hand. He had a real superiority complex.
Despite all of these less-than-desirable qualities, he was also great company. He took an active co-pilot position in the passenger seat of my car. He never needed to be on a leash, even in a busy city setting (he was very respectful of all traffic laws). He loved infants and old people. He was really fun at a beach or at a pool party. He even smiled when he saw people he knew and liked (which was everyone except for homeless people and a few acquaintances towards which he held a grudge). I will never have another dog. And I will never stop missing Buck.