Dog Days of Laguna
By Mark D. Crantz
I love Laguna because Laguna loves dogs. Dogs are special. Spelled backward its God. Makes you wonder about cats. Tac? Got me? I’m sticking with dogs. Dogs are unconditional love personified. Whoever you are, the good, the bad or the ugly, your dog thinks you’re as cool and tough as Dirty Harry. That’s a stretch for my dog considering I look like Woody Allen and end up a good foot shorter than Clint Eastwood. No matter. In my dog’s eyes, I made her day and she made mine for 13 years, almost 14. Unfortunately, my wife and I recently lost our dog. Pokey was her name. Here’s how it worked.
Pokey was a border collie and my wife and I were the sheep. Not much of a herd, but Pokey ruled the pasture. She kept a watchful eye on both of us. Pokey knew from the start that I was the alpha sheep, and I tended to wander off to work and made a lousy sweater to boot. My wife was the gentle sheep and was good to cuddle with, but made Pokey keep her distance when my wife drove the car. Consequently, Pokey insisted on riding in the back seat and I swear would actually smile when I was in the front passenger ‘death’ seat. Her look would say, serves you right for wandering off all the time.
Pokey loved Laguna. The several winters we spent here were her favorite. She hated Florida. I told you she was smart. When it was time to leave Laguna she would pout the whole three days it took to get back to Chicago. The look said it all. What’s wrong with you guys? Laguna is perfect. There’s the beach on one side. Pet stores on the other side. Everyone likes me there and I refuse to vacation ever again in Florida, where George Bush stole the election from Al Gore. See, now do you believe me? Pokey was really, really smart.
Since Pokey’s passing, my wife and I have found a home in Laguna in less than a month. It’s hard to believe how fast our relocation is happening, when this search has been going on for some seven years now. You have to wonder if Pokey doesn’t have a paw or four in this sudden turn of events. You be the judge. On the three days it took to get to Laguna, we stayed at three different hotels, where each hotel asked us, “Do you have a dog? At each, we said with a sad heart, “No” and then we were booked into the doggie wing anyway.
Pokey’s still with us. I feel it and my wife does too. She’s just invisible, which has its advantages. Now she is running the Laguna beaches without a leash to the dismay of the Laguna police and she is still giving the surfers a “kissie” on the completion of a successful ride. This activity was her favorite thing to do when she was visible to everyone else and we know in our hearts she’s still doing it now.
(PS: In a recent dream, Pokey tells me I can get another pet. But only “Pet Peeves,” that is. Of all the sheep she’s herded I bleated and complained the most!)
Mark Crantz is a recent transplant. (Friends of the Dog Park take note.)