Sunday, September 7, 2008
ALBERT! There he is. I never have to call twice. Funny, the dogs that show up in your life and become part of your life. I found him on a 100 degree day last year, trying to lick drops of water draining to the gutter. A 50 pound lab puppy, I palmed him off on a friend after lost dog signs and calls to shelters turned up no takers. But Albert ate through hoses, insulation, and Sally said, you've got to take Albert back.
I named him Albert because I hadn't planned to stay with him long, and it seemed a nice nerdish name for a clumsy cross-eyed dog. But now I have the dog and he has the name. Albert has a heart of gold, and no longer chews up anything but his plastic bone. But he does have terrors. I came home tonight and he was cowering in a corner of the yard. My gardeners had shown up to put in a new raised bed, and Albert is terrified of gardeners. And weed whackers, leaf blowers, vacuum cleaners, drills, blow dryers.
I'll never know the sad little story that preceded our relationship. He's put on 35 pounds and lives to fetch. He loves, in no particular order, his tennis ball, our boxer Phoebe, and me. And water. Put down a bowl of water and he'll drink it to the bottom. Every drink is his last drink. I'll never convince him there will be more water the next minute, the next hour, the next day. Love, food, warmth, and a soft bed just seem, may be, oh so temporary.