If you live in the United States, you know the Summer of 2011 will go down in the weather record books as one long, hot summer. As I type, our thermometer indicates the outdoor temperature is 100 degrees. That’s hot.
“That’s hot” reminds me of – no, not Paris Hilton – a quote from an 80s movie titled, “Biloxi Blues”. Matthew Broderick’s character says, “Man it’s hot. It’s like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn’t take this kind of hot.”
As I work from home and look out my window, I see the trees and leaves moving with the breeze. However, the breeze does nothing to cool the air. The fact that my dogs choose to lounge here, with me, rather than outside in their large backyard playground, tells me the wind is misleading, simply moving the hot air and not cooling it.
The heat is zapping me dry, depleting me of words to write and stories to share. I have entered the dog days of summer.
As the dogs lounge beside me, I find myself easily distracted. We have two of the best dogs, Wilbur and Cherokee. Found under the steps of an office where I worked when they were approximately 7 wks old, we’ve seen these puppies (brother and sister) grow into two beautiful and loyal pooches.
To this day, we still call them ‘Puppies’. In fact, earlier today we had a visitor at the door. Wilbur and Cherokee were barking up a storm. I heard our 6yr old say, “Puppies! It’s OK. It’s OK, Puppies!” Though, these 9yr old, 80+lb pooches are far from “puppies” in the literal sense.
When Wilbur was a puppy, he would grunt like a pig whenever he was held. Hence his name is Wilbur. The dogs were found on Cherokee St. in downtown Acworth, GA, so Wilbur’s sister was named Cherokee. Cherokee was a soft and squishy puppy, and she remains a soft and squishy puppy. Wilbur, bless his heart, is a little off. For the first 2 years, Wilbur barked and ran from trash cans. For the first 5 years, Wilbur would bark at men in hats. Nowadays, nearing the ripe old age of 9, Wilbur isn’t as jumpy or easily spooked. Perhaps his eyesight isn’t as good. Still, Wilbur has his quirks.
Cherokee is our jumping dog. In her younger days, she could clear our 6′ fence. We have not seen her try to jump in several months. Rest assured, if she did try to jump, Mr. Wilbur (aka Tattle Tail) would bark a distinctive bark, run up to the deck and alert us of Cherokee’s shenanigans.
Wilbur and Cherokee are not our first furry loved ones. I grew up with dogs – German Shepherds mainly. After my Dad died and I relocated back to Atlanta, I adopted a Rottweiler named, Lina. As much as I adore Wilbur and Cherokee, Lina(loo) was – hands down – the best dog ever.
[Aside: While I type, Wilbur is having a dream, barking and running in his sleep. Man oh man, do I ever love my dogs.]
When I adopted Lina, she was approximately 5 yrs old. I was fortunate enough to spend 8 years with that beloved pooch. She died Memorial Day 2005. I am certain Lina made it to the age of 13, in part, because Wilbur and Cherokee kept her puppy nature alive and thriving. The three dogs got along so well together. Lina broke all the horrific stereotypes that are tied to Rotties. As I said earlier, she was the best dog ever. My non-dog loving friends agreed. Lina had no enemies. Well, maybe squirrels. “SQUIRREL!”
This summer has been long. This summer has been hot. My work days are challenging, in part, because my 6yr old is stuck at home, wanting my attention along with my employers. Still, throughout the long hot summer, my faithful, furry companions remain by my side. I love my puppies!
Side Note: The dog pictured in the pool is our friend, Sophia. She is one cool dog – literally and figuratively.