Our street, it seems, everyone has a dog, which says much about what great neighbors we have. And sometimes the chorus becomes hysterical— a gathering crescendo of barking started by one — the Metallica equivalent of a canine concert. Then adding to the biophony, their care givers open their back doors and the barks begin to wane under the whistling, clapping of hands or a holler from humans. I’m not sure which is more amusing.
Often I am asked if I have a dog? My answer is — I love dogs, yes but no. sort of…..
May I present to you, “Dally” my dog. Dally the Dalmatian (Steiff) is responsible for my second, long term, memory at the age of two, I can still see myself, holding my mother’s hand and walking up the steps to FAO Schwarz in NYC, my French mother in a white hat and sunglasses, a Polka Dot dress and a throw coat over her shoulders. Me… I was in an itchy wool brown outfit, “bumpy1” socks in brown shoes but I didn’t care. It was my birthday and I was going to FAO Schwarz! Once inside, my mother let go of my hand and followed me trough the stands of towering stuffed horses and giant teddy bears while battery-powered kid driven Stutz Bearcats meandered the isles under the displays that reached to the ceiling. I was oblivious to all that and zeroed in on Dally the Dalmatian (by Steiff). There was something about the tilt of Dally’s head, the wagging mouth and the texture of his fur. That was all I saw that day, somehow knowing Dally would follow me throughout life. Dally is still with me and a little worn for wear, but aren’t we all. Friendship is forever.
I joke with my wife that if the house were to ever catch fire, I promised her I would make sure she was safely outside, first, but after that I was going back in for Dally and my titanium crypto pass phrase hardware wallet, in that order.
1Bumpy: I would drive my mother crazy after she manhandled me into that brown itchy wool outfit and socks, then wedging my feet into the stiff leather brown shoes and tying the laces as if to batten down the hatches before a storm, looking me over from head to tow, satisfied of her work. But her smile would not last very long as I proceeded to tell her that my socks were bumpy. With an exhale of,”Mais Mon Dieu!” under her breath (My first long term memory) she would untie my laces, slip off the shoes, smooth out my socks and repeat. Whenever my wife sees me shifting around in a suit these days she asks if my socks are bumpy? But I know she has no intention of untying my shoes.