Good manners do pay off. For being so well behaved, Patches and Cali were upgraded to their “doggie suite.” Thanks to the superb front desk staff at the Las Vegas Flamingo Hotel for making this extra sweet!
The other morning, like most mornings, I took Patches and Cali to the dog park. Their barks grew louder as we approached the park while I was singing to songs from the radio marketed to fourteen year old’s. This is our daily routine. Going to the dog park each day is not only necessary, but it is vital for our serenity.
The two gremlins bolted out of their crates in all their glory, waiting no time to chase the meaning of life in the form of a tennis ball. We walked around the park making the rounds. I said hello to the regulars while nodding to people I did not know. The dog park always has a tendency to put me in a state of balance and well-being.
While chucking the ball back and forth for my four legged kids, a dog came up to me. He was such a friendly dog. This particular dog was extremely happy; living in the moment the way all dogs do. I called him “Charlie” (which he responded to for some odd reason). I threw the ball for him and he came back giving me a “ruff” along with the wag of his tail for approval. After a few tosses, Charlie went on his merry way.
After finishing our routine, I looked for Charlie and his owner. That was the strange thing. No Charlie. No owner. That’s because when Charlie left, he walked back into heaven. He was my Charlie. Charlie passed away three years ago at the age of six from cancer. He just came down from heaven to tell the dogs and I he was OK. And that night, the dogs and I slept well, knowing Charlie was OK.
Charlie (left) last picture ever taken with Patches.
2:46am in the morning. I am doing the “toss and turn groove” all night listening to my thousand year old heater produce mysterious noises. It almost sounds like Freddy Kruger needs to break out of it. On top of that nonsense, Cali and Patches are snoring away. They both sound like I’m sleeping next to Chicago’s O’Hare airport with 747’s landing in both directions. If snoring is the most annoying thing my dogs do besides wanting to crash through the front window to rip the mailman apart, I’m perfectly fine with it.
The other day, I was talking to a friend from high school. I asked her opinion of me back then and how she thinks of me today. Her answer was no big surprise. She told me back then she considered me a “burnout”. I had to agree. Thinking of the days during in senior year waking up eating toast, drinking beer and smoking pot before class. No argument there. Today, she referred me to as a “lost soul”. That threw a tiny wrench in the life equation. After careful consideration, I could see that. Divorced, no kids, do what I want, vagabond, I’ll take that. The reason that statement is so true is the past four years (though my drinking and using) I lost a lot of respect and loyalty from my family and close friends.
Yes, Loyalty. My dogs have seen me at my personal best and worst. I literally was living a real nightmare as they were living it with me. Alone, scared, depressed, crazy, I was not someone you exactly invited over to dinner. I blamed life, isolated myself from everyone, and walked around with a constant rain cloud over my head labeled “poor me” on it. If it wasn’t for my dogs, and their true love and loyalty to me, I would not know where I would be without them today. The bond between humans and dogs is so strong that dogs can see through the temporary lapses of momentary insanity. If only we humans could to that.
Next time you are down (but not out) and hate life, look in your dogs eyes. They love you no matter what. Every day I look into their eyes and am grateful. And with that, those two four legged creatures makes life a whole lot easier.