“You really should roll the ‘R’ in my name”whispered Kristen the Collie, ear cocked as she looked at her new owner, my father, who went to fetch her leash.
That goes a long way back, when I took your son from the village in Greece to Woodstock in New York. But that’s for another conversation. “I am here to stay and I love to play. Give me a ball or Frisbee and take me for walks and leave me with people.”
So walking tediously on the treadmill for my father became huge joy as he went through his routine early in the morning, tea for mom, his medication with a fresh grapefruit and then a walk around the neighbourhood with the dog.
He made a point of teaching the dog to do her business on his attorney’s front yard. Even in recent times, the attorney had an open front yard, no fence. Just like when we were growing up.
My mom got a dog whisperer in once for the two collies. As the visitor was tuning in to the dogs, my father rushed out as usual on his way to work, with his “see you later, cooks” as he whizzed past my mom.
The dog whisperer stopped my father in his tracks. No one does that to him, by the way, unless you’re at least a bishop in the Orthodox Church.
“You can’t talk to the dogs like that!”
“What?! I was saying goodbye to Olga?”
“You have to stop and look them in the eye and pat them, slow down and say you’re going out but will be back later…”
My father left, ignoring the dog whisperer but the next day, after having eaten dog biscuits by mistake, he took Kristen for a walk and stopped to say goodbye before he left for work. And he promised he would be back later!