On the Fourth of July we always walk downtown for the parade with our neighbors and their dog. Our neighbors have the coolest dog in the world. If he were a human he would be Cary Grant – suave and sexy but with a playful side. With his golden, slightly curly fur, he charms all the lady dogs and the young studs too but steers clear of German Shepherds.
You can never tell when confronting a German Shepherd – he could be either a Jimmy Stewart or a Mike Tyson.
Like Cary Grant, our neighbor’s dog doesn’t approve of exercising in the heat and often wrapped his silky body at my feet in the shade.
Before they fell in love with Cary Grant the neighbors had a black dog, not sure what breed, who they called Toby. One day Toby came up for a visit. When I said “Hi Toby!” he glared at me. “My name is Jack,” he said. Well, not in so many words but with that look dogs’ll give you when they think you’re a nitwit. Toby’s human equivalent would have been Humphrey Bogart, mysterious but trustworthy, a hopeless romantic with a cynical shell.
At the time the neighbors had Toby/Jack I had a dog named Berna, short for Bernadette. She was a shelty-beagle mix I found on the bottom of a heap of pups at the pound. Her siblings had more energy and looked much more eager to be rescued but I’ve always cheered the underdog and in this case, the bottom of the heap dog. She puked and pooped all the way home. She always stank. She couldn’t be car trained or trained at all for that matter. She’d run onto freeways, get her head stuck in Costco sized mayonnaise jars and dig up every living thing I tried to plant in the back yard. But her crowning achievement was a spot on a Channel 7 news story exposing the water wasters of the East Bay (this is a long story which illustrates the depths of depravity a film crew will go to get a scoop). Guard dog, she was not. Bay at the moon dog, she was. Escape artist, par excellence. When I put my house on the market the first agent scowled “get rid of the dog. You’ll never sell this house with her in it.” I got rid of the agent.
Anyway – enough about dogs. When I started blogging I resolved to leave politics, grandchildren and dogs off my list of subjects and here I’ve gone and broken my vows. Nevermore, I swear.
The next best thing about the Fourth is how it brings out the rebel in all of us. Who doesn’t love marching down Main Street in a happy riot of fellow citizens, for a few hours, owning the streets. What a sense of freedom it is.