Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shake It Off

The more I see of man the better I like my dog.

Frederick The Great
I don't know and I can't find the term for that particular zoologist who specializes in the study of dogs. Does anyone know it?

Having reached the point of disgust with the rudeness, unreasonableness, ignorance and absurdity of the people around me, no doubt similar in some ways to Frederick's state of mind, I decided to get away for a day and be by myself.

I packed a lunch and drove out to a park in the country I found a picnic table and enjoyed my lunch in peace and quiet. There were other campers in the area but no one in proximity to me. In front of me there was a busy stream gurgling along its way. It was very refreshing.

Several feet away from me I noticed a foot bridge that went over the stream and a sign announcing a hiking trail, 3 miles long. I always enjoyed hiking in the woods. It was one of my favorite activities. So I decided to take the trail.

Right after I crossed the foot bridge a big black Labrador appeared out of nowhere and walked along with me. He sniffed out everything he wanted to. He sometimes ran on ahead but always came back to check up on me. If he stopped to investigate something and I kept walking he would soon catch up to me. For some reason, with no questions asked, he became my dog and I became his human.

At one point, midway through the hike, I stopped to sit on a flat rock and rest. I thought the dog would probably get bored and run on, but he sat down also and waited. When I stood up again he stood up and looked up at me as if to say "Are you ready to move on?" I wondered if I had just inherited a stray dog.

When we got to the end of the trail, which had looped back on itself for a couple of miles, the only way to ford the stream was on a tree that lay across it. The branches were gone and it was well worn. It had obviously been used to get across the stream by many more before me. I stepped out on it and made my way easily to the other side.

But the log was too narrow for my friend the dog. So without thinking twice he jumped in the stream and swam across. When he came up out of the water on the other side he shook himself off, first the head and then the shaking went down the length of his back ending at the tail. I am still amazed at how dogs can do that.

When we reached the road my friend ran off to find the folks he came with who were probably wondering where he had been for the last hour or so. Well, he had been with his friend the man, and I had been with my friend the dog.

Too understand how dogs can shake themselves off like that you'll have to ask the authority on dogs, whatever his correct zoological name is. All I know is dogs can do something you and I can't do. What do you think of that?

DB - The Vagabond
My story "The Savior" continues now only on Vagabond Tales

(This is not a contest.)

Who are the 2 (two) most important people alive today? Why?

Only 5 responses so far.

Thank you.


pacifica62 said...

I thought that zoologists didn't really study domesticated animals, only wild ones. What a nice story db. Perhaps you should have a nice big black lab. You could surely keep each other company and much better company than any human being. Dogs can do many things I cannot do. I cannot lick my bum, I can't scratch my ears with my leg, I don't zone out in a state of bliss if someone scratches my belly and no I can't shake like a dog either. I do not have a dog, but if anything was going to convince me of the merits of having a "man's best friend" around, this message would do it. However I have a cat and he would not like to have a dog around. He does not like sharing his "woman" with anybody.

Big Mark 243 said...

Not going to get into the 'cat v. dog' debate. But dogs offer you the most forgiveness than any being that I know of. The expect the least but openly gives as much of themselves as their bodies allow.

They rely on their sense of charcter and that Lab knew exactly what he was doing, making sure you got across safely. He already knew he'd make it.

W. Churchill made a comment about why he likes pigs. I disagree. I think dogs love the way that they do because they believe in the potential in someone and require little evidence of that potential.

Joann said...

Sounds like a great way to spend the day... and with the best company around!! = ) I am really deprived, I'd SO love to have a dog BECAUSE they love so unconditionally!!

Valerie said...

This is such a precious story! Amazing how this nice dog left his companion or family just to be with you. I have a cat that never, ever leaves my sight. I affectionately call him Doggie. Loved this. Thanks for sharing it with us! Val xox

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

A wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Lori said...

That was a beautiful story. Humans can meet up with strangers while on an outing and spend an enjoyable afternoon together, so why can't dogs? Just so you know, zoology is the study of all animals, not just the wild ones, so a zoologist could study any animal. I'm not sure there is a formal name for someone who studies dogs, but "cynology" is the study of matters related to canines or domesticated dogs. Therefore, a "dog specialist" might be called a cynologist. If I find out any differently, I'll let you know.