I'm a gal, aged 75, part of the fabulous world-wide 4Corners Critique Writing Group (U.S., Germany, Brazil, Canada), who wants to meet the world, along with all her wonderful writer buddies!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
PLATO THE PHILOSOPHER DOG
Yesterday I introduced everyone to our extended family but gave short shrift to one of the most important members, Plato. You see him in this photograph with Theo. Plato, as you can see, is playing ball with Theo, waiting patiently for Theo to throw the ball for him.
Plato came to us in the fall of 2001 from the San Francisco SPCA. I was there with my son, Jeff, to pick out a dog. We saw Plato after the first few and all I could think was "Pick him! Pick him!" It was to be Jeff's dog, although, as so often happens, eventually he became my husband's and my dog. We saw a number of doggies that day but none even came close to capturing our attention like Plato. The grins, and the tail waggings! Superlative!
Plato is a dog of special ancestry, being partly the king of all dogs--the Akita--and the other, mutt with a fair amount of German Shepherd mixed in. Jeff chose Plato and I gave a sigh of relief.
We took him home and Jeff promptly disappeared for a couple of hours. Plato and I were in the basement. He had bonded with Jeff and would have nothing to do with me. He tried every means of escape--including a small window with a table in front of it, which he would get to by jumping from a coach to a bookcase, to the table. The window was open only an inch or two, but he kept trying, apparently thinking the next time the window would magically open for him. Do dogs believe in magic? The route he would take for his escape attempt was up a flight of steps (only to find the door closed), down the steps, to the coach, to the bookcase, to the table and back again. This went on for what seemed like hours. My husband finally came home. I brought Plato up to meet him. My husband, in his best Humphrey Bogart imitation, looked at him and said "What have you been up to, Plato?" Plato cringed, I mean cringed. Oh no, I thought. He has scared him for life.
Not to be. It simply made my husband the boss. I mean he is the boss--nobody else even rates. Plato will not go up the flight of steps from the street without having my husband give the OK. Even an OK doesn't always do it because Honcho Number One usually isn't on the steps with us, having other important things to do like pick up packages from the car, or check the mail. I'm only Honcho Number Two , so what does that make me? The one that pulls on Plato's leash until he moves, that's who.
Plato is now nearly ten--from what we can gather. No record came with him, much the pity. He is a wonderful, truly special dog. Everyone adores him. You can see a little white around his muzzle but he still runs like he's two!
The Turnabout Shop is located in El Cerrito, California, at 10052 San Pablo Avenue—our telephone number is 510-525-7844. We are open Wednesday through Saturday from noon to four. The shop has a very interesting background and I plan to devote one of my upcoming blogs to that history. I was born in Minnesota in 1933, moved to Wisconsin with my family in my twenties, collected a Bachelor of Science degree in Childhood Education, left for California for a teaching job and met my husband. We have been married for 47 years and have two sons and two grandsons, age six and a half and almost three. I love thrift stores. Where else could you find a grotesque Paper Mache mask with weird decorations? Weird can be wonderful! This one nearly caused a divorce: "Either that goes or you go!" We have a dog—an Akita mix called Plato—named for the philosopher. He is a very bright dog. I still have family in Wisconsin and the memories of a wonderful brother who I'm grieving. Take some time out of your busy day and come visit me.