My dog Missy wasn’t my dog. I was her boy. She took license with knowing and understanding my personality. She knew when I was playful or serious, hungry or sleepy, she knew when I was in danger and even knew when I was sick and then she would comfort me.As a boy who had a dog as his master I came to understand the intuition animals possessed, and the extenuating circumstances of learned socializing, not with other breeds of animals but with humans. A child can formulate abundant specifics of an animal’s interactions on levels of interests and equality whereas adults take initiatives of friendship, discipline then dictatorship.Missy and I were the same age. My parents adopted her from the SPCA in San Francisco when I was two months old. She was a mixed breed of rough collie and German spitz. Her brain was a hybrid of Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Cyd Charisse and Groucho Marx. She formulated ideas like Einstein, foot pad painted like Picasso, danced like Charisse and joked around like Marx. I was her complete opposite in intelligence, art, skill and entertainment. She coached me into being a boy, tutored me on how to communicate, laugh and play. Missy was my educator.We matured together, learned how to crawl and walk and run, and we were surprised at being potty trained. We told stories to each other, learned how to read and write and spell the exploratory words discipline and obey in capital letters. My parents were not consistent disciplinarians but they were consistent with ignoring, therefore Missy and I had hours of play time together.
After Missy and I had learned to laugh together we couldn’t stop the dizzying effects until eating time. We both smiled when food was placed in front of us. We both ate off of plates, hers on the floor mine on the table. I drank my water from a glass using a hand and lips; she drank her water from a bowl using her tongue. We were of the same breed.
Living our lives passed quickly like a blossoming rose. Days were filled with challenges for both of us. As a teenager Missy was still my mentor, expanding my repertoire of friendships and loves. She was also my savior, keeping me from stepping off a sidewalk on Mission Street in front of a city bus. One summer evening she rescued me from being kidnapped by strangers in a car that followed me home. Missy greeted me on the corner of Avalon Avenue and Madrid Street, growling at the offenders and scaring them off.Without Missy as my best friend I would have become another victim of circumstances and melted away like the irascible Wicked Witch of the East in the Wizard of OZ. Because of Missy owning me I became a well-adjusted, educated and aspiring adult. Missy was my shrink, guide, supporter and guru. Since I did not have the intelligence of Einstein, the artistic talent of Picasso, the physical skills of Charisse or the gratifying comedic skills of Marx, I did have the unconditional friendship and protection of Missy, my owner, the dog of my dreams.When we were together we shared everything imaginable; food, laughter, play, information, and best of all, warm hugs and rest.
My dog Missy wasn’t my dog. I was her boy.
Missy will be one of the main characters in my new novel 402 AVALON, expected publication as an ebook with smashwords later in 2011.
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