Don't Rush Me
Of mice and men, or of Don and dogs
Your choice, but make sure your dog's collar has a tag with your phone number!
September 21, 2011 - Holy crap, Batman. It's the last week of September and/or the first full week of fall . . . and, well, I am not particularly ready for summer to end. Not, that I have a voice in the decision.
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So, I would publicly like to thank to two different owners of the two different Golden Retrievers that escaped from their two different homes on two consecutive days (I bet you thought I was gonna' type "two different days", didn't you?) about two weeks ago.
On Day One, a Thursday, I pulled into The Clarkston News parking lot. It was after Coffee Club and as I got out of my 1999 Racing Sonoma, a gray-faced, old Golden Retriever, ambled over wagging its tail as only old dogs do. I coaxed the dog into the office, and asked front office gal Lacie to read the dog tag for its name and owner. (Lacie has young eyes, and mine are old and can't read small type).
Scoobie Doo (the dog) was well behaved and I wanted to make it the office mascot, alas that wasn't to be. Scoobie's peoples' phone number was on the tag and we soon brought dog and owner together.
Day Two, the following day, at 6-something in the morning I pulled into ABeanToGo coffee on M-15, in Goodrich. I was gonna show off my new-used 2008 Ford Escape. I went in, ordered coffee and quickly heard a "thwap" from outside.
"Rats," I exclaimed, and with pitch, tone and volume increaseing with each word. "I have had that car less than 24 hours and that sound better not have been caused by anything hitting my new car!"
It was. Outside was a very young and rambunctious Golden Retriever. It jumped up on the coffee shop's door to get a better look at me. I went out into the dark morning and faced the critter. It slobbered on my white cardigan sweater. Its paws smeared mud on my khaki pants. It was excited to see me -- which is something I am not used to, but that is another story for another day.
I called into the shop for a scone and some water. Shop owner and coffee roaster Kirk, obliged and didn't even charge me. I was able to calm said dog down for about threepointwo nano seconds, just enough to get the dog's collar off. (By the way, owner, the collar was too tight.) I handed the collar off to Kirk to find out more about the dog, because it was dark and my eyes are too old to read small type (which you already know) and we soon ascertained the dog's name was Cooper.
Kirk called Cooper's people, who lived across the street. Cooper, I learned, was four-years-old, and unbeknownst to its owner, was out all night. They thought he was in the basement.
My spidy-sense tells me Cooper thought it was a good idea to be out at night, but soon figured out the night has many strange noises and is cold and damp. I think he was scared and I was the first person he saw and, well, he jumped up on my new-used car, and because I didn't want him running on M-15 in the dark, I let him in said new-used car. (Kids, don't use that many "ands" in any sentence whilst in school. As a highly skilled wordsmith, however, I can.)
I'll say this, there's nothing like a wet, drooling, muddy and excited dog to mess up that "new-used car smell."
So, back to where I started.
I want to publicly thank both Scoobie's and Cooper's owners for having collars and tags on their dogs. It is such a simple thing that many folks fail to do. It helped reunite dogs and owners faster than it would have taken.
There are many dogs out there who get out, don't have a collar and go to the dog pound . . . and then to doggie heaven, all because their people were too stupid or too lazy or too cheap or all of the above to have a tagged collar.
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On a side note, some folks are trying to say the gods are telling me something . . . that there was a cosmic message delivered to me on those consecutive days and that the message was: Don, you need a dog in your life. More specifically, you need a Golden Retriever.
I don't believe in cosmic mumbo-jumbo, so to-date, I have yet to answer its calling.
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Side note Number 2: According the Humane Society, a flat collar like Cooper's should, " . . . fit comfortably tight on your dog's neck. It should not be so tight as to choke your dog nor so loose that he can slip out of it. The rule of thumb says you should be able to get two fingers underneath the collar."
Comments, suggestions or complaints about the man dogs find agreeable, should be sent to Don@DontRushMeDon.com
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org