To say that dogs and I have had a troubled relationship would be to put things mildly. Whether it was extremely early childhood trauma from Tribbie eating my Bristle Blocks (and whatever else of mine he could get his teeth on while we lived with the Hoods) or something else I can no longer remember, dogs and I have had an adversarial relationship nearly my entire life. There have been, to date, but two exceptions: the late Sam Beauregard the basset hound, faithful companion of the Danes, and my brother’s first dog, PITA.
My brother rescued PITA from rising water in the cave where he was born (beginning PITA’s life-long aversion to bodies of water, no matter how small or shallow) and brought the new puppy home, where he grew up to be a friendly, loyal, kind, and fiercely protective dog. He loved to sit and watch the birds eat and to howl with the fire, police, and ambulance sirens (there is a fire station only a few blocks away, as the crow flies, and it is rumored that his father was part Dalmatian), but he also would never fail to defend the women of the family from any perceived threat (most often other dogs encountered on walks). But PITA is also the animal who knew, each time, that one of my grandparents had died, and did his best to comfort me. What more could one ask for in a dog?
Good-bye, my friend; I’ll miss you.