Once there was a dog with such hungry ears he could hear an Oreo being unscrewed three blocks away. To the Black Lab-Border Collie mix known as Coffee, the mere unwrapping of a loaf of rye one room away, even the soft pffft! of a morsel of ham plopping to the kitchen floor was equivalent to standing next to his snoring self with a megaphone and shouting “Hamus Alabamus!”
And yet today as I prepare my ham on rye, no great hairy beast comes snouting his way to the kitchen. He hasn’t now since the day 36 months ago when he left for stars unknown.
For several years I kept notes about my daily walks with Coffee because that’s what I did when I was a newspaper reporter. Since forever I have resorted to notebook and keyboard when working through a knotty problem of life or death or the heavy grey seas in between. That is because I find it difficult, if not impossible, to think something through for more than a few minutes before an errant thought will intrude and send me down a back road to Timbuktu.
Not that my thoughts are so profound or of any weight at all. They are miscellaneous musings about life that, without written examination would come unbidden and drift away only half-understood.
Gradually, my notes became short essays of philosophy and humor that I filed away and added to every couple of weeks. Not diary, nor journal, they are just there, random thoughts on no particular time table, in no particular order, considered under no deadline. I started thinking of them as nuggets I picked up from my dog for reasons that soon will become obvious.
You can access the complete series of 22 essays by clicking on the category tab and selecting “Nuggets I picked up from my dog.”
Please note that as with most of my writing, these essays offer a humorogenic view of life, whose side effects may include laughing, thigh slapping and walking in the rain. Please do not read these pieces if you are seriogenic or depressogenic or humorophobic as you may develop hives, tics and/or liftoff due to internal combustion. Bark twice if you don’t understand.
Coffee lived a long life, he had a soft, furry head that he shared with grace, and he never complained. His epitaph: He was a good dog.
For all of the anxiety we generate jockeying for position in this or that, for all the measuring of ourselves against dollars, sins, losses, wins, beauty without—if not within—not enough time is spent appreciating the simplicity of being a good dog. It’s the ultimate distinction, topping even Best in Show. While there are bad dogs out there, I like to think that deep beneath their quivering fur beats a heart longing for redemption. The same is often true of bad people, with or without the fur. The fact is, even the bad have love to give if only someone would take a moment to stop and scratch a needy tummy.
To read more about Coffee, select “Nuggets” from Categories or Hints.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013, all rights reserved.