Early Friday morning (before coffee) Dudley found a couple of broken posts in the fence and made a break for it. When I realized he wasn’t in the backyard, I went straight to panic mode. Funny that last week I mentioned how Dudley rarely went out of the fence; I guess this is his version of irony. Walking around the backyard, I kept thinking I heard the tags on his collar jingling and about that time I saw the broken posts and thought he might still be close to home. Rational thought made its way through my still sleep fogged mind; he’s old with a gimp knee, how far can he go? I went into the front yard and there he was coming up the driveway heading for the steps to the front door. I caught up with him on the porch and since I didn’t have the key to the door, we had to go around back to get into the house. I gave him a carrot, some serious “I’m so glad you’re safe lovin'” and went to fix the broken posts. They should hold if the wind doesn’t blow too hard.
As we approach Independence Day, please remember our canine soldiers. Currently, the military classifies these dogs as “equipment”. Last spring, Rep. Walter Jones and Rep. Richard Blumenthal introduced H.R. 4103, the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act that elevates these dogs to the status of soldier. H.R. 4103 and its Senate counterpart, S.2134 now languish in committee. This bill uses no federal funds, but facilitates the adoption and veterinary care of retired military working dogs. It also authorizes the Secretary of Defense to recognize and decorate dogs who are killed in service or “perform an exceptionally meritorious or courageous act in service to the United States.” These military working dogs walk beside our soldiers, save their lives and provide comfort to them. They are not equipment and if the human handler wants to bring his canine companion back to the States after their tour is over, we should do everything possible to reduce the cost of that adoption. If you agree, please take the time to write your Congressional Representative and Senator and ask them to pass the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act.
Remember that orthopedic bed I bought for Dudley right after he blew out his knee? He still doesn’t love it. He gets on it at bedtime, it is right beside my bed and he wants a belly rub and ear and butt scratches, but then he gets off of it and flops on the floor to sleep. Every now and then he’ll snooze on it, but not often. I caught him in some serious REM sleep on it one afternoon and was able to get a picture.
In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog. ~Edward Hoagland