Friday, November 17, 2006

An Old Dog Story

This is not a story about an old dog. This is a story about a dog from a long time ago. It's from so long ago that I was still young. And skinny, and still had long hair.

Back in the day, I lived in the Montrose. Those of you who live in or have lived in Houston know where of I speak. back in the early '70's it was a lovely, quirky, "bohemian" neighborhood. I don't know what it's like now. But it was fun and funky then. I lived in a 4-plex with my Mother, Nana and three dogs. I was a Sophmore at UH, and everyday when I got home from school, it was my job to take all three dogs for a walk.
The dogs were my dog Mignon, a slighty bigger than Beagle-size cowdog; Beau, my Mother's pocket poodle; and Tasha, my Nana's Afghan Hound. Beau and Tasha had to be leashed, but Mignon was good enough to walk by my side, except when he watered a tree or bush.
We'd walk down South Blvd and come back up North Blvd or was it the other way around? and wind up in Barkdull Park.
One day, we're about 1/2 block from the park and Tasha break free from my grasp. I have to say, it was a joy to watch her run. If you've never seen an Afghan bounding full out, you've missed one of Mother Nature's wonders. She's about three strides from the boundary of the park when a Kharman Ghia convertible slides to the curb and starts to lower his top. With her excellent reflexes, she leaps over the driver's seat area of his car at the same moment he notices a movement in his peripheral vision. I watch his head as it swivels to follow her vault over his vehicle. He does a double-take, as if to reassure himself he has really seen what he just saw. I calmly follow her into the park with Beau and Mignon a few moments later. He points at her disappearing rear and looks at me. I just shrug as if to say, "I don't know that dog, never say her before."
Of course, once we're in the park and down the trail she took, safely out of his sight, I pick her leash back up and give it a couple of twists around my wrist. We took the far exit out of the park that day, and the long way home.

A couple of days later, the guy was back. And he had a friend with him. I could see him gesturing out the story, Tasha bounding down the street, Tasha flying over his car, Tasha disappearing into the park. The dogs and I took a detour and a different route into the park for about a week. Poor guy.

I used to take those same dogs down to Galveston about once a month from the Fall through the late Spring in my Volkswagen Bug. Now THAT was a crowded vehicle. But it was worth it because when we got there I'd just open the doors and let them out on a deserted part of the beach and they'd run 'til they were tired. Then they'd come back and I'd give them water and treats and they'd rest. Then it was time to play chase and fetch and run some more. Oh, what fun!!! And they'd sleep all the way home.


DiamondMair said...

Dunno how you'll take this, but - Montrose is now "the" gay area of Houston .................. out here in the wilds NNE of Houston {40 miles out} there are a LOT of gays/lesbians, but the "community" isn't as organized as downtown ..................
Semper Fi'

HollyB said...

Oh, there were gays there, then, too. Never lived in a safer neighborhood, actually. But it wasn't all gays, and it was mostly gay men, didn't see many lesbians, I don't know where they lived. I see more of them up here in N.TX area. It was a mix of artists, students and gays then, though. We were a block off Montrose three blocks from the MMA and about 4 blocks from Westheimer. But then it was 30 years or so ago, I could be off by a few blocks here or there.

Rabbit said...

Thanks, Holly. I love old dog stories almost as much as my old dogs love my '72 VW Campmobile.


Cait said...

Dog Stories: First critter that I ever belonged to was "Bambi" - an abandoned Chihuahua puppy we found underneath a car over by one of my dearly departed Aunts house. Hey, I was 5.5 years old so "Bambi" wasn't an altogether bad name. Bambi owned me til I was in 9th grade when, after having a stroke and trying to revive her with a small shot of brandy and a raw egg (don't ask me, it was local lore that the time) she crossed that Rainbow Bridge and we buried her under a peach tree out in the orchard. Yeah, she DID live and long and pampered life!

Then there was Boris Badanov (remember Natasha, Rocky & Bullwinkle?) - another throw-away dawg - Rat Terrier and your guess is as good as mine. I'm at the rural post office when I see a "friend" from high school. "Cute dog". "Thanks but it's not mine. Gettin' ready to head out of town - there's a coupla farms out there." "WHAT? You're going to DUMP THE DOG?" Badabing, know what happened next. Boris owned us from 1973-1989...but he was mostly my Mom's dawg from 1980 onwards.

Then there was Fritz von Pfefferhund - Fritz, Son of Pepper Dog and the most WONDERFUL of Mini-Schnauzer's to ever grace our third rock from the sun. Another freebie-to-good-home but with AKC papers of all things! My dog. My darlin' special delightful soul-assuring companion. Kept me sane (along with my darlin' seesters) while my Warrior did his thing in Iraq. Light of my life. Died two days after we moved from The Republic of Texas to "another place". Broke my heart and still miss him although to paraphrase Bill Cosby "another one just like him." Karl-Heinz is the same salt and pepper, same breed, but totally different in temperment. Fritz was a selective smoocher (just ask Holly who used to ask and ask and ask for kisses that were bestowed sparingling but with genuine feeling!) whereas K-H smooches with abandon. Fritz was a dignified and reserved little toot. K-H...well, look in the dictionary under "mischevious little $h*t" and you'll find his pic.

We've had other critters that owned us heart and soul: Radar, Austin, Tisha, Winney, & Cheyenne. Don't want to bore you with their de-tails. (yuck yuck)

Shiner (as in Shiner Bock) belongs to my Warrior and keeps K-H company. Shiner's another pound puppy, half Jack Russell and, again, your guess is as good as mine. Sweet girl whose heart belongs to her Daddy.

Sorry so long but a dog post will have us all tripping down memory lane. One of the BEST dawgs I've ever loved belonged to Floozie - that would be Bear. Another lovely lady goes by the name of Mocha Boo...whose Mama is our very own Hollyb. We were blessed to have her own us for a while when Hollyb's Scrooge of a Landlord wouldn't allow "pets" in her abode. What a, well, YOU fill in the blank.

Dawgs...gotta love 'um. Thanks, Hollyb for a trip down memory lane.

HollyB said...

I wish you had a pic phone so I could send you the shot I took of Boo today. Great profile of that Blue eye side. One day I'll learn how to post pics on the blog and THEN everybody will see how gorgeous she is!

Matt G said...

Send it to her email, Holly.