There are a fair number of people out there who, unlike Mark Twain, see little worth in dogs. I pity them.
Our lives are continually enriched and filled with happiness and smiles by the presence of one Sawyer, The Famous River Wonder Dog. For the uninitiated, Sawyer came wandering up to our house on a Central Texas river bank five-plus years ago.
Being no fool, I took the cute little Benji-looking animal in to meet the Mistress of The House, knowing that instantaneous love would flow out of this amazing woman; that she would dote on him and he would have a roof over his head. And, Ol’ Dad would have a buddy.
Well, I was right beyond my wildest dreams.
We just sold our river home and moved to more “citified living.” And, Sawyer is adapting immensely well, thank you very much for asking.
Sawyer inherited a sizable fenced back yard, significantly larger than the enclosed front yard at the river house (the river was the back yard). The back room of our “new” house is an add-on, apparently once a screened porch that has a “doggie door” to the back yard. It didn’t take long for Sawyer to adapt to the house, doggie door and back yard and he now has pretty much free roaming privileges within those confines.
He’s discovered that the back fence neighbor has a dog that barks every time The Puppy and I venture into the back yard. Sawyer, who adapted to in-house living quickly and possessively upon his debut at our river home, ignores the neighboring barker.
Since the front yard is unfenced, we can’t allow The Precious Puppy out there without one of us holding him on a leash, so he misses racing up and down a hurricane fence line a la the river house to bark at passing traffic.
Of course, I have become a nester in the back room of our new domicile with its panoramic view of the fence, where I read, research and write. Plus, the Mistress of The House, has promised me a new flat screen TV and another chair so my son and I can explore football and basketball via that marvelous research tool.
While Sawyer will bark to let us know someone is approaching our door or yard, he has only shown any propensity to bite or “attack” once when a rather pushy insurance salesman tried to invade our space. Did I mention that he is a fantastic judge of character?
Occasionally, a squirrel dares to dart along the top of our backyard fence and Sawyer lets him know he is encroaching on our territory. Of course, he does the barking from beneath the cover of the patio. He apparently understands the dangers of sun stroke. He’s always been a smart dog.
The move has been somewhat traumatic for Sawyer. His appetite dropped off to nothing the first couple of weeks. That’s when the Mistress of The House was forced to exercise her considerable magic powers to get the little dog “back on his feed.”
Naturally, Sawyer has found some consolation in that he can still sleep on our feet in our bed at night. My mother is turning over in her grave at that news. This is the woman who, upon being introduced to Sawyer in a visit to her house five years ago, sat and fed him her famous teacakes most of that afternoon. Being like his master, Sawyer gobbled ‘em up.
You probably wouldn’t guess that he’s unspoiled despite nicknames of “Daddy’s Puppy” and “Mama’s Baby Dog.”
WILLIS WEBB is a retired community newspaper editor-publisher. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org