Apparently it’s National Dog Day. I was hoping I had misunderstood and it was really National Hot Dog Day. That day apparently was in July sometime.
Is it a bit existential to wonder if National Dog Day has meaning if you don’t have a dog? There have been many dogs in my life. The first was Calidonia. I have no idea where the name came from. I think she was a member of the family before I came along. I do remember the milkman accidentally bumping into her with his milk truck, sending her to doggie heaven.
Now, I guess my tendency toward self-absorption has made it unlikely that we will have another dog. I do like the idea of a dog. My ideal dog would be a rescue of course, who do you think I am? She would be a mix of golden dogs like retriever and labrador. She would unfortunately be unable to have puppies. She wouldn’t shed or go in the house. She would, like me, only want to go for walks if the temperature was between 69 and 74, humidity below 20%, pollen counts immeasurably low, with a breeze of less than 5 mph. She would love the grandkids when they visit. And, like me, when they’ve all gone home, she would want to recline and watch Seinfeld reruns. I would call her Pups, and she would bark softly which I would understand is dog talk for Pops.
Oh, and she would be really smart. If we were out for a hike and I fell in a big hole, she would run back home and bark at My Amazing-Missus. And she would sense the urgency and say, “What’s wrong Pups? Did Timmy, I mean, Pops fall in a hole again.” Then they would come and help me out of the hole and we would go home and have a bowl of Campbell’s soup. Probably “Bean with Bacon”.
Maybe we would write a series of children’s books called “The Adventures of Pups and Pops” and the first one would be “Pops Falls In Another Hole”. And it would be picked up by a Hollywood producer who would turn it into a successful franchise with stuffed Pups and Pops toys, and a really sugary breakfast cereal that looked like little dog treats. And we would be bigger than Sponge Bob and Lassie.
Of course if there was a dog like Pups, her list of what she was looking for in a good human would far exceed what I can deliver. I would rub her belly, buy her good food and bag her poop on long walks. But she would always want more. She would look at me in disgust and wonder why she couldn’t have a pair of those young “dog parents” who take them everywhere including places where food is served. She would think to herself, “look at this old geezer, he’s like 10 in dog years! Maybe I’ll go sit in a corner and chew the straps off his Birkenstocks-stupid old hippie.”
But then an episode of “The Adventures of Pups & Pops” would come on Netflix (you know the one where Pups and Pops sit in front of Trader Joes and make fun of cats) and she would remember the special bond we have, and how Pops always remembers National Dog Day with a treat and a new squeaky toy.