Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Rock Hound

It was not your normal looking dog. Short, stocky, spotted. His parents must have been a dalmatian and a basset. There wasn't much difference between standing up and sitting down but he seemed to be sitting down most of the time, I think.

He would sit there panting and enjoying the pats while vaguely looking at the waves. He's a neat dog too! Almost no drool or mess, even with that tongue hanging out that far. Probably doesn't shed much either. Pretty Cool Dog. Kinda dog I'd like to take home. We sat there looking down at the waves together. Joggers slogging by; this dog doing all the panting for them. Imagine what this dog would sound like if he was doing anything physical. Pretty Cool Dog. He just watches the waves with me; he doesn't even turn his head for early morning birds or joggers. He's with me. He could be sitting anywhere watching the waves but he's sitting her getting slow pats while I'm quickly becoming his “new best friend”.

I figure out why he seems so familiar to me. It's his teeth. His teeth are little short stumpy things sort of like his legs. No long fangs on this sawed-off carnivore, nope, just short little nubs. I have the same kind of teeth; just like everyone on my Father's side of the family. My Grandfather, Uncles, and some of my cousins have had those same type of teeth. Luckily we all had long legs and no spots, but those floppy ears would have been fun in a convertible.
This dog is just like family. I wonder if this dog's owners know that this dog has kin out there.
We watch more waves. I begin to wonder if maybe this dog strolls out here every morning. How many mornings does he find a “new best friend” to share the morning with.

Suddenly, my spotted pal pulls in his long tongue, and stands up. The reason that I knew he was standing was because his body seemed to get even longer and his tail was now off the concrete. He takes a few steps forward to the front edge of the sidewalk where the beach rocks are and he picks up a gray 3 inch specimen and slowly plods away. I watched my little buddy hike along carrying his rock. I guess he couldn't say good-bye with a mouthful like that. I wasn't sure, but it looked like he stopped at the far end of the sidewalk to sniff something, only for a moment. He accidentally dropped his rock and I didn't see him pick it up again. He turned left and headed home.

I wanted to run down and meet my dog the next day, but i had promised someone that I would meet then for breakfast. As we sat at a table on the sidewalk near the beach I was able to watch my buddy walk up and around the same path he had the day before, but this time there was no tourist to stop and pat him. Just joggers and fog.
I was just sitting there watching him slowly trot along until my breakfast companion commented on “that dog”. I said “Oh yeah, I didn't even see him”.

He trotted up and around the loop right past the place where we had sat the day before and kept going down the sidewalk until he got to the spot where he had stopped to sniff something the day before. He sat down. He didn't bend over to smell anything, he just seemed to be looking at something. He sat there for a very long time, his ears swaying in the sea breeze. The dog eventually extended himself again, continued on, turned left and was gone. After breakfast I went over to his spot and instead of finding a beach rose or some other sniffable object, there were several dozen rocks; all of them about 3 inches across but of no particular shape. Most of them were gray, as were almost all of the rocks on the beach.

I looked at this pile of rocks for a while before I went back to the cottage.

The next morning I woke up a little late and had to hurry down to meet my dog. “He has already gone around the top of the loop, I'd better hurry.” I came over the crest of the next small hill and slowed down. It was a clear warm morning on the beach and there were lots of walkers. My dog was sitting there and somebody was sitting next to him. Patting him. They were watching the waves. I sat on a park bench and watched them. They sat there together while I watched. Slow pats and dog pants.

I was getting ready to leave when he got up. I sat back on my bench as I saw him snoop around, find a rock and trot down the sidewalk away from today's friend with his prize. When he got near the end of the sidewalk he didn't sit and think like he did yesterday, he just dropped his rock in his memory pile and kept trotting.
A smart dog looking very proud of himself.


ww, Short Sands, York Beach, 6/28/93


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