Shakey S. Smith

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Walking My Nephew

Posted by [email protected] on June 25, 2014 at 1:05 PM

My sister is out of town for a few days and I have temporary custody of their Westie, Doogie. Now Doogie and I have never really bonded which is strange because I dreamed him a few days before she found him, but that is another story.

I think we haven’t bonded because Doogie is a timid soul; more of a heel nipper than a barker. My dog,Molly,  Doogie’s departed cousin, was a Jack Russel and an entirely different cup of doggie tea. She had no problem barking her mind, anywhere anytime. She had no problem starting a fight with anything on a leash or off a leash; a rattlesnake and a big Boxer come to mind. A walk with her was like riding herd on a gaggle of two year olds, all threats, chases and bluster. “Don’t you dare!” “Don’t start! Do not even start!” “No! You are not going to sniff any Pit Bull’s ass and especially not one with a studded collar!” and she liked to slip the leash and roll in stuff like dead armadillos.

Not so Doogie. He is content to waddle and sniff and when something spooky comes up, he huddlesw next to my leg and whimpers. My dogwalking monolog with him goes something like “Don’t worry. He is in a fence.” “It is a truck. It can’t get you. I won’t let it.” And, since I am walking the streets of the town where I grew up, my parents and even my grandparents grew up, I lapse into memories. The worst of it is that Doogie is such a good listener. If I stop talking, he stops walking and frowns up at me like he is saying “And then what happened Aunt Shannon?“

Naturally I am in for any audience I can get at my age. When I get really wound up, I point. “Oh, look, Doogie! See that house? When I was a kid we used to think that house was haunted! I remember one time…”

Today I was at a street corner, pointing out  Roosevelt Junior High to my doggy nephew and telling him about my goofy World Geography teacher, when a lady stopped her car, and said “Ma’am, are you lost?”

I smiled and said no, but it really puts me off when strangers intrude on famiy conversations.



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