Bobby has a t-shirt design since he left the country and came to the city. Now that he’s a pup with culture, and something of a rock star—or so I tell him daily.
Why just this evening he attended a poetry reading, and not a local slam, but by a distinguished poet, Cynie Cory, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the country’s preeminent degree program for writers. Who is now a PhD writing teacher herself (to high school kids, bless her!). Matter of fact, she was quite taken with Bobby and sat next to him and rubbed his ears.
And, Bobby, who is a licker, and a pup who cannot hold his licker, kissed Cynie on the hand in the manner of the cultured Southern gentleman he has become.
But if you look at the quote on Bobby’s t-shirt design that he insists I wear on our walks around Fairhope, you learn of his blue collar raising. “Bobby was once a hunting dog,” the copy reads. I rescued him from nights sleeping on a 1×12 oak plank in a chicken coop. Seriously. But now, the spotlight is on his new urban lifestyle. “Now he likes to hang out at bookstores, and sleep late. Like a lazy poet with a latte habit.”
And the artwork features Bobby on the laptop, while I, on the other hand am relegated to the use of a pen and a dollar store steno pad—not even, like, a nice ring-bound journal from Page & Palette. He’s got a napkin under his cup. Probably Earl Gray hot tea. And I’m hanging onto a cup of well decaf. Bobby’s got a monogrammed bowl of food at his feet. I haven’t eaten since yesterday.
Well, that was yesterday. And this is today! Let me tell you what Bobby did today.
Turns out, you can take the dog out of the country, but you can’t take the squirrel hunting out of the dog. Fact of the matter, Bobby’s kind of tired of the press that this boathouse has been getting of late. With but mere mood-setting crumbs of mention being tossed his way. So he decided to honor his roots and show me just what a super dog he is, especially after being embarrassed by some slobbering bully yesterday who chased him underneath a car.
I’ve shown a picture before of Bobby part way up a leaning tree on the hunt for a squirrel. I even said when I shared it that I believed he’s someday go for the glory up in the higher reaches of the oak. And, sure enough, this morning I saw him studying the tree and a squirrel that was teasing him. I had an intuition that he was about to make his move, and I set down my coffee cup and grabbed my iPhone and went down the boardwalk that passes underneath the leaning tree.
No sooner did I reach my spot than Bobby took off at full tilt up the tree. I could tell he was not going to stop on the down low. Sure enough he went all the way up to the fork in the tree, about 12 feet off the ground. The squirrel had been yammering at Bobby from the right fork of the tree, but the sight of a dog actually up in his tree made the squirrel decide to make a run for the left fork where its nest is located.
But it underestimated Bobby’s speed and intent and almost jumped into his face! Only the “live” feature on the iPhone that shoots several frames in a single second could have caught the action. And I am also grateful the stop action sequence did not also include one little black and white dog in a free-fall toward the ground beneath the tree.
On our walk this evening, Bobby was friends again with Gov, the big black Lab. While those two were catching up, I showed Gov’s owner the pictures of Bobby up the tree, after the squirrel. He told me without the pictures, knowing how owners inflate stories about their best friends, he would not have believed me. And I really think Bobby was trying to get Gov to buy the story. I shoulda shown him the photo evidence. I’ll do that next trip out.
As I type, Bobby’s right behind my shoulder. Watching the words appear on the screen. Proofreading. Ready to get my attention if he wants some revision or more detail. But he just told me I can now add: “My name is Bobby. And I approve of this message.” He really did.