A Wonderful Dog

IMG_0208We have a dog, a Miniature Schnauzer and his name is Scamp.  I tell people that it is a great name for him because he lives up to his name at least once a day.  We got him when he was about nine months old.  Animal Control found him running around one of the busiest sections of town without a collar or identity chip.   We waited the three days and then we were able to pick him up.  He has been with us for over 11 ½ years.

DSC00029 When we first saw him we were told that he was gray and brown, but after a bath we found that the brown turned to white just because of the dirt.  We were amazed that he went from gray and brown to silver-gray and white all in one bath.  Finally a haircut, this little ball of hair was transformed into a handsome little Schnauzer, what wonders groomers do with their clippers.

In the past all of our dogs have been either my wife’s or daughter’s dog.  Being that I was at work all day and they had much more time to spend with them.  This time, being a carpenter, I had been laid off and was looking for work.  I would go out looking three times a week, checking the union hall and all the job sites I could find.  This went on for two years; almost all construction had stopped because this was the year after September 11, 2001.  During those two years Scamp and I formed an inseparable bond.  Everyday, except Sunday, Scamp and I would go to the post office to collect the mail.

I had a Ford F-250 and, even as small as he was, he would jump from the driveway and 051907_1129aupon the seat, sit down and wait for me to hook the restraint onto his collar.  He would sit there with his head up, as proud as he could be.  When I went into the post office he would watch as people came to and from the door, never did he bark at anyone unless they stopped to tease him.

We went everywhere together.  Sometimes when the weather was cool, he would go with me when I worked odd jobs that I had found.  He would wait patiently in the truck and be very happy to see me when I returned.  On our way home he would cuddle next to my leg and encourage me to pet him while I drove.

After two years I returned to work, this time not as a carpenter, but as a clerk in an office.  This was quite a blow for Scamp, now his buddy was gone all day.  Kathy would take him for his walk, which he enjoyed, but when he came home he was back in his bed just waiting for me, he would lie around and mope until I got home.  Homecoming was a joyous event, he would run around, jump, and bark until I reached down and picked him up and cradled him in my arms.

One of his routines was at bedtime.  We would go into the bedroom, even though he would jump into the truck which was much higher that the bed, he would wait for me to pick him up and place him on the bed.  If he got down during the night to get a drink of water he was always able to jump back onto the bed.  (Could it be that I didn’t train him, he trained me?)

I retired in January of this year and Scamp made a decision.  Kathy or I could not be gone by ourselves; we need to all go together.  He is happiest when the three of us are together, whether here at home or traveling in the car.

IMG_0295We have had many adventures over the years, from a short vacation in central Oregon to our favorite vacation spot in Newport, Oregon.  Scamp loves to walk on the beach, and to chase the Seagulls.  He does not like to go into the water, as soon as he feels the wetness coming up on his feet he runs for higher ground.  Walking through the many touristy shopping areas, he likes being picked up and carried through the many shops.

Yesterday Kathy had an appointment downtown.  Normally she would drive herself over to the MAX station (light rail) and take the train to town and return.  Wednesday she had an accident that tore the skin on one hand and because of the pain she did not feel comfortable driving.  Scamp and I took her downtown and waited in a shady area in the car.  I opened the car window and settled back to read a book.  Scamp decided that he needed to stand or sit in my lap and look out the window.  He is a great people watcher; he can sit for hours just watching people pass by.

As we were sitting there, a small group came down the sidewalk.  One, within the group, was agitated about something and with his voice raised and a constant stream of expletives, we watched them go by.  After they had passed Scamp and I looked at one another and as if to say “it takes all kinds”.  His eye was immediately caught by another dog, proudly walking on her leash.