Boatyard Dog

18 Jan

Jan2010 092

This is Lola. Here I am forty, and this is my first dog. There was a time in the not too distant past when I might have said disparaging things about pet dogs like, “They’re just hanging around for the free food. Stop feeding them and see how long they’re man’s best friend.”

I have been attacked by dogs twice. The first time, when I was too young to remember, I needed two stitches in my face for a bite from a family friend’s golden retriever named Happy. The other time, about ten years ago, I needed 35 stitches in my hands and wrists from an encounter with a Costa Rican guard dog named Blackie. So I’ve never been what you’d call a dog person. My family always had cats. I never disliked dogs; I was just a dog realist. Well, Lola changed all that. Actually Alison changed all that, but Lola is the result.

We adopted her from Baja California a few weeks ago, and so far, so good: No pooping on the floor, no barking to piss off the neighbors, just dog fun and companionship…the whole dog experience. I see why people who have dogs live longer. Dogs get you out of the house to walk twice a day, and there is always someone who’s happy to see you when you get home.

But there are a few things I didn’t know about owning a dog. A dog gives anyone, anyone, an excuse to talk to you. No introductions, no talk about the weather, just straight into midstream dogspeak right from the get-go. It’s worse than owning a boat. There is an entire world of dogs, dog owners, dog walkers, and dog parks, which I’ve been completely oblivious to my entire life, and now I’m part of it.

Dogs can’t climb ladders, or at least Lola can’t. I guess I sort of knew that, but it’s really come to a head when I’ve taken her along to work in boatyards.

When it looks like they’re fighting, they’re really just playing. As long as the tails are wagging, it’s all OK. I thought Lola was attacking neighborhood dogs and I regularly yanked her off her feet by her leash, but it’s just spirited play, with lots of teeth.

This article was syndicated from The Adventures of the Vessel Condesa

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