Raining Cats and Dogs: Bob and Me

 

When Marie and I sat down in the doggie greeting room at the Portland Humane Society, a little light-brown mutt with short legs and a smile on his face trotted in and adopted us.

Bob the dog had been just a few days from being euthanized in a shelter in Fresno, California, when the Portland Humane Society, a no-kill shelter, told Fresno that it would take in a few of their dogs. Bob was in that lucky lot.

Here’s what Fresno Bob looked like when we got him home on that first day. I think he knew, somehow or another, that he was safe now and had found a forever home.

I’ve never met a creature, animal or human, who has loved me more than Bob does. He overlooks all my foibles and vices. (Marie doesn’t let a single one slide by unacknowledged.) I’m pretty sure that I could even vote for a Democrat and Bob would forgive that transgression. Naturally, Bob is a Republican. (Marie claims, quite unfairly I think, that I attribute human characteristics to Bob.)

I’m not particularly lovable, but Bob thinks I am. (That old maxim comes to mind here: May I be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.) When I plop down in my easy chair, Bob hears that sound and trots in from wherever he is to sit at my feet. He stays curled up there until I get up. Bob is a good dog, yes he is.

Right now, Marie is visiting the Oregon coast with friends for three days. That means that Bob gets to sleep in our bed with me. Marie disapproves. Bob leaves hairs on the bed. I’ll pick them up with one of those sticky rollers before she gets home.

About 10 o’clock, I say, “Bob, let’s go to bed.” Before I can take three steps, Bob has raced up the stairs to the second floor and has jumped onto the bed. When I arrive, Bob is curled up, his little legs moving wildly, seeming beyond his control, his tail thumping the bed. (See photo for blurred tail.) Sleeping in our bed is the greatest thing in the world for Bob.

When I crawl under the covers, he tries to lick my face for a while. Then he turns over so that he is facing away from me; we’re now configured like a nested-spoon couple. I drape my arm over his torso, just as I do with Marie, and we drift off to sleep.

Mutts like Bob are the best, aren’t they? All those thousand-buck dogs with papers can suck eggs. Now that I think of it, America is a nation full of mutts. We left all of those inbred and effete aristocrats behind in Europe. If we weren’t already mutts before we arrived, it wasn’t long before we were Spanglish Americans, Scotwegian Americans, Mexirish Americans, or whatever. I myself am a bit Scot, a tad Irish, a smattering of English, and a soupçon of Choctaw Indian. (I’ve had my DNA tested.)

Bob is half-chihuahua, part American bulldog, and some other stuff. Bob and I are total mutts. Maybe that’s why we get along so well.

For my birthday, Marie bought me a pair of socks with Bob’s face on them. Not a generic dog’s face. Photos of Bob’s actual face. Each sock contains nine little Bob faces looking up at me. Cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve never owned such a meaningful pair of socks.

I could go on with Bob tales, but I’m afraid I’ve already tested your patience, especially if you’re a cat person like Gossamer Cat, Front Seat Cat, and of course Arahant the cat man. (Sad.) But before I go, let me leave you with one more photo of Bob, this one taken in our front lawn

Postscript: I think I’ve shown admirable restraint in never once referring to Bob as my fur baby. But he is, you know.

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There are 43 comments.

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  1. John Berg Member

    Thank you for the happy post! One of the many wonderful things about Portland is the number of mutts the folks around here have adopted. Our Humane Society does a great job of rescuing not only the local dogs, but also a large number of dogs from kill shelters.

    One thing that dog people have over cat people is we go out and meet our fellow dog lovers in the parks and on the sidewalks. In north Portland I meet dogs that are a mix of the most amazing combination of breeds.

    • #1
    • August 25, 2019, at 7:24 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    John Berg (View Comment):

    Thank you for the happy post! One of the many wonderful things about Portland is the number of mutts the folks around here have adopted. Our Humane Society does a great job of rescuing not only the local dogs, but also a large number of dogs from kill shelters.

    One thing that dog people have over cat people is we go out and meet our fellow dog lovers in the parks and on the sidewalks. In north Portland I meet dogs that are a mix of the most amazing combination of breeds.

    John, dogs do promote sociability, don’t they? Dog people love to talk about their dogs. I’m trying to learn all the breeds right now, so I always ask people what kind of a dog they have. 

    • #2
    • August 25, 2019, at 7:27 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    John Berg (View Comment):

    Thank you for the happy post! One of the many wonderful things about Portland is the number of mutts the folks around here have adopted. Our Humane Society does a great job of rescuing not only the local dogs, but also a large number of dogs from kill shelters.

     

    John, I forgot to ask: What kind of a dog is that in your photo?

    • #3
    • August 25, 2019, at 7:35 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor

    So sweet. It makes me miss my mutt, Muffin. She was a love. And my step-dog, Amber. She was a love, too.

    • #4
    • August 25, 2019, at 8:04 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    So sweet. It makes me miss my mutt, Muffin. She was a love. And my step-dog, Amber. She was a love, too.

    Susan, they’re just great creatures, aren’t they? I discovered dogs late in my life. Bob has made my life a little better.

    • #5
    • August 25, 2019, at 8:10 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Arahant Member

    Blah blah blah ruff ruff ruff blah blah blah. You two do go on about yourselves. 😜

    • #6
    • August 25, 2019, at 8:32 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  7. iWe Reagan
    iWe

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    I’m trying to learn all the breeds right now, so I always ask people what kind of a dog they have. 

    Racist.

    • #7
    • August 25, 2019, at 9:00 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  8. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Ricochet cat people, I propose we make Bob an honorary cat. All in favor?

    • #8
    • August 25, 2019, at 9:12 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  9. JustmeinAZ Member

    Bob almost makes me want a dog. Almost.

    • #9
    • August 25, 2019, at 9:28 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. Arahant Member

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Ricochet cat people, I propose we make Bob an honorary cat. All in favor?

    Aye! Welcome to the club, Bob.

    • #10
    • August 25, 2019, at 9:34 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. Arahant Member

    Okay, Bob, now you have to learn to sprawl on desks and always be in the way of any work’s getting done.

    • #11
    • August 25, 2019, at 9:38 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    KentForrester: I could go on with Bob tales, but I’m afraid I’ve already tested your patience, especially if you’re a cat person like Gossamer Cat, Front Seat Cat, and of course Arahant the cat man. (Sad.)

    OK, now that Bob is an official cat, keep those tales coming.

    • #12
    • August 25, 2019, at 9:40 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Blah blah blah ruff ruff ruff blah blah blah. You two do go on about yourselves. 😜

    Ha ha ha. Meow meow meow. 

    Arahant, that’s my last Bob post. I promise. I was drawn into this one by the August group writing theme: It’s raining cats and dogs. I just couldn’t pass it up. 

    I think I’m even starting to recycle photos. You would know. You know everything that goes on here. 

    • #13
    • August 25, 2019, at 9:46 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Bob Thompson Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Arahant, that’s my last Bob post. I promise. I was drawn into this one by the August group writing theme: It’s raining cats and dogs. I just couldn’t pass it up. 

     

    Thank goodness! Bob doesn’t look like a mutt though. My daughter has two yellow Labs, one pedigree and one mix, and Bob looks about like them.

    • #14
    • August 25, 2019, at 9:56 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. Arahant Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    Arahant, that’s my last Bob post.

    No, that was your last Bob the Dog post. From now on, he’s Bob the Cat. Carry on.

    • #15
    • August 25, 2019, at 9:58 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  16. Tex929rr Coolidge

    Dogs have brought indescribable joy to our lives. All 9 have been rescue dogs and each one had us wondering how anyone could have abandoned them. The differences in their personalities are amazing, and the ways in which each group has bonded provided endless entertainment.

    About 25 years ago we lived in a San Antonio suburb, and one of our Air Force Pilot buddies lived in the next block. Our pal Chip had a rescue husky, Max. Max was a pure bred husky with a goofy overbite. Because of where we each walked our dogs, we would occasionally see them when out walking. If our three female dogs got so much as a glimpse of Max they would whine like they were being tortured until we got to him. Shameless bitches, really. But once we all got together it was like a family reunion. Another pilot moved in next door to Chip and they took in rescue greyhounds. The occasional get together was as amazing as you would think.

    And all that was living on postage stamp sized suburban lots. Now that we live in the country I don’t know why we only have two. Every time we see pics of the dogs at the county shelter I want to go over there and adopt all of them.

    • #16
    • August 25, 2019, at 10:30 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  17. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    Dogs have brought indescribable joy to our lives. All 9 have been rescue dogs and each one had us wondering how anyone could have abandoned them. The differences in their personalities are amazing, and the ways in which each group has bonded provided endless entertainment.

    About 25 years ago we lived in a San Antonio suburb, and one of our Air Force Pilot buddies lived in the next block. Our pal Chip had a rescue husky, Max. Max was a pure bred husky with a goofy overbite. Because of where we each walked our dogs, we would occasionally see them when out walking. If our three female dogs got so much as a glimpse of Max they would whine like they were being tortured until we got to him. Shameless bitches, really. But once we all got together it was like a family reunion. Another pilot moved in next door to Chip and they took in rescue greyhounds. The occasional get together was as amazing as you would think.

    And all that was living on postage stamp sized suburban lots. Now that we live in the country I don’t know why we only have two. Every time we see pics of the dogs at the county shelter I want to go over there and adopt all of them.

    Tex, you really are a dog person. Now go over and adopt three or four more.

    • #17
    • August 25, 2019, at 12:48 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Front Seat Cat Member

    My cat would totally approve of Bob – she was almost curtains too, actually on the last day before her ticket was up at 4 months. I saw her on the local animal pound roundup on line. I was looking on the site for my missing cat and saw her. The volunteer vet spade and de-fleaed her. A woman that took pets from the kill shelters met us halfway and we picked her up. That was 13 years ago. I would be very happy to add a Bob. He’s perfect.

    • #18
    • August 25, 2019, at 1:07 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. She Thatcher
    She

    Well, it’s not quite a poem, although beautifully expressed, but I don’t want to pass up an opportunity to say I told you so

    • #19
    • August 25, 2019, at 5:16 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    She (View Comment):

    Well, it’s not quite a poem, although beautifully expressed, but I don’t want to pass up an opportunity to say I told you so.

    Mrs. She, I’ve just got to get serious — or at least less frivolous. But I’m afraid I’m running dry. I’ve written almost 100 essays for Ricochet, and I think I’ve mined all of my life, and most of my ideas, for essays.

    I’m just not very good at commenting on current political/social happenings. And I can’t compete with the political mavens on Ricochet.

    I’ll just have to think harder.

    I like to post an essay a week because I like to write, but I’m not sure I can continue to do that.

    Do you have trouble coming up with topics to write about?

     

    • #20
    • August 25, 2019, at 7:59 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Skyler Coolidge

    KentForrester: I drape my arm over his torso, just as I do with Marie, and we drift off to sleep.

    Ok, that’s creepy to say.

    KentForrester: I think I’ve shown admirable restraint in never once referring to Bob as my fur baby. But he is, you know.

    I know this is a light hearted post, but I’ve always been disturbed by the use of the term “fur baby.” They’re not babies, they’re animals. I love my dog, but if it comes down to my kid or my dog – or any person not actively attacking me and my dog – I will pick the human every time. Dogs are dogs, not people. I wonder that our society has so many abortions but at the same time elevates dogs to the status of human babies.

    I’m much more partial to pure bred dogs, but the purpose most dogs were bred for is often anachronistic. No one hunts for badgers or otters underground anymore, which is what my dog was bred for. In the United States with skunks so common, I think that style of hunting is just too risky.

    But we do still breed dogs for police, military and guide dog work, and there are still working sheep dogs and other style hunting dogs.

    Most dogs are just pets, which is why we have the Labradoodle. They are not a breed, they are “designer” which means people in Nantucket will have nothing else. Or so it seemed when I went there this summer. Labradoodles are fine dogs with a stupid name.

    You’re wrong about your dog. You don’t have the best dog in the world. I do. Here is Bond J. Bond, the Sealyham Terrier, born in Russia with love and now in Texas. You can see him guarding a sealyham egg.

    • #21
    • August 25, 2019, at 8:16 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  22. She Thatcher
    She

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Well, it’s not quite a poem, although beautifully expressed, but I don’t want to pass up an opportunity to say I told you so.

    Mrs. She, I’ve just got to get serious — or at least less frivolous. But I’m afraid I’m running dry. I’ve written almost 100 essays for Ricochet, and I think I’ve mined all of my life, and most of my ideas, for essays.

    I highly doubt that. Look to your field. Literature to put 50 Shades of Gray to shame (OK, that’s not hard to do. I’ve only read a page or two of it myself. Not so much because the subject matter offended me (I didn’t get that far) but because the prose was so execrable.) Satire (from a time when a person could actually tell the difference (most of the time) between satire and reality). Interesting politics, with no Twittering to gum up the works. The Order of the Friars of St. Francis of Wycombe (A/K/A The Hellfire Club). Yikes. Such an interesting time. And no Trump wars anywhere in sight.

    I’m just not very good at commenting on current political/social happenings. And I can’t compete with the political mavens on Ricochet.

    I think you misunderestimate yourself. Weigh in if you like. Some of us mostly avoid the political stuff as a conscious decision.

    I’ll just have to think harder.

    Please don’t. Sometimes I think the best posts come when I hardly think at all.

    I like to post an essay a week because I like to write, but I’m not sure I can continue to do that.

    I think you’re woofing us. I bet you can. Do a QOTD and a Group Writing once a month each. That takes care of almost half the weeks in the year, right there, and you don’t really have to think of a topic.

    Do you have trouble coming up with topics to write about?

    No, seriously, I really don’t. Not sure why. Oh, the other thing you could try is a regular series of posts. The “Friday Food and Drink Post” is pretty well received, sometimes more so and sometimes less, but I always enjoy the comments. Several members have ongoing series posts–what about something like that? Sometimes I see funny stories (like the wasp nest thing last week, and I think, “wait-what?” and I have to share.

    If all else fails–just write more about Bob!

     

    • #22
    • August 25, 2019, at 8:45 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  23. She Thatcher
    She

    Skyler (View Comment):

    KentForrester: I drape my arm over his torso, just as I do with Marie, and we drift off to sleep.

    Ok, that’s creepy to say.

    KentForrester: I think I’ve shown admirable restraint in never once referring to Bob as my fur baby. But he is, you know.

    I know this is a light hearted post, but I’ve always been disturbed by the use of the term “fur baby.” They’re not babies, they’re animals. I love my dog, but if it comes down to my kid or my dog – or any person not actively attacking me and my dog – I will pick the human every time. Dogs are dogs, not people. I wonder that our society has so many abortions but at the same time elevates dogs to the status of human babies.

    I’m much more partial to pure bred dogs, but the purpose most dogs were bred for is often anachronistic. No one hunts for badgers or otters underground anymore, which is what my dog was bred for. In the United States with skunks so common, I think that style of hunting is just too risky.

    But we do still breed dogs for police, military and guide dog work, and there are still working sheep dogs and other style hunting dogs.

    Most dogs are just pets, which is why we have the Labradoodle. They are not a breed, they are “designer” which means people in Nantucket will have nothing else. Or so it seemed when I went there this summer. Labradoodles are fine dogs with a stupid name.

    You’re wrong about your dog. You don’t have the best dog in the world. I do. Here is Bond J. Bond, the Sealyham Terrier, born in Russia with love and now in Texas. You can see him guarding a sealyham egg.

    That’s a lovely dog. Anxious to know what is going to hatch from that egg. Please share, when the time comes.

    • #23
    • August 25, 2019, at 8:46 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Shauna Hunt Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Blah blah blah ruff ruff ruff blah blah blah. You two do go on about yourselves. 😜

    Ha ha ha. Meow meow meow.

    Arahant, that’s my last Bob post. I promise. I was drawn into this one by the August group writing theme: It’s raining cats and dogs. I just couldn’t pass it up.

    I think I’m even starting to recycle photos. You would know. You know everything that goes on here.

    Please don’t stop the Bob posts! I love them!

    • #24
    • August 25, 2019, at 9:02 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Skyler (View Comment):

    You’re wrong about your dog. You don’t have the best dog in the world. I do. Here is Bond J. Bond, the Sealyham Terrier, born in Russia with love and now in Texas. You can see him guarding a sealyham egg.

    Skyler, I’ve never cared for “fur babies” either, though I can understand an older woman who is terribly attached to her dog using that expression. The expression is not to be taken seriously. It’s the equivalent of sweet talk among lovers: Sweetie Pie, Honeybear, and so forth. And what in the hell is a sealyham egg?

    • #25
    • August 25, 2019, at 9:17 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Arahant Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    Do you have trouble coming up with topics to write about?

    You just have to be a curmudgeon. Being angry at everything gives innumerable things to write about. Of course, there is a cost.

    • #26
    • August 25, 2019, at 10:22 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  27. Percival Thatcher

    Arahant (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    Do you have trouble coming up with topics to write about?

    You just have to be a curmudgeon. Being angry at everything gives innumerable things to write about. Of course, there is a cost.

    Not anger. Curmudgeons aren’t angry. Curmudgeons are indignant.

    • #27
    • August 25, 2019, at 10:59 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  28. Arahant Member

    Percival (View Comment):
    Not anger. Curmudgeons aren’t angry. Curmudgeons are indignant.

    Whatever. Gives a lot to write about.

    • #28
    • August 25, 2019, at 11:03 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Percival Thatcher

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Not anger. Curmudgeons aren’t angry. Curmudgeons are indignant.

    Whatever. Gives a lot to write about.

    If you’re angry, you’re a crank. Cranks are dime-a-dozen. No sophistication. Add on a few idiosyncrasies and you can be an eccentric curmudgeon: the epitome of the socially dysfunctional. 

    I’m writing a book.

    • #29
    • August 26, 2019, at 12:01 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  30. Arahant Member

    Percival (View Comment):
    If you’re angry, you’re a crank. Cranks are dime-a-dozen. No sophistication. Add on a few idiosyncrasies and you can be an eccentric curmudgeon: the epitome of the socially dysfunctional.

    To be eccentric, you need at least $20 million.

    • #30
    • August 26, 2019, at 1:33 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
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