06:44:05 am on
Monday 24 Jun 2024

Boys and Dogs
AJ Robinson

Source: AJ Robinson

I’ve heard it asked, often. Is a dog a boy with four legs or is a boy a dog with two legs? It does seem the two are often viewed as one, as a unit; as Forrest Gump said, “peas and carrots.”

All little boys deserve a dog.

I well remember, when I was a little boy, how my brothers urged our mom and dad to get me a dog. “All little boys need a dog.” they said, almost word for word. My brothers were right.

In the case of our foster son Damian, he wanted a dog almost from the moment he came to live with us. Still, until we were sure of the outcome of his permanency, with us, we didn’t want to get him a dog. What if he went back to live with his mom or had to move to Puerto Rico to join family there?

Would he be able to take the dog with him? if he had to leave the poor animal both would be devastated. We waited.

This past weekend, Damian got a dog. We went to the Daytona, Florida, area to a dog rescue place, way out in the sticks. I mean we were so far and gone from, well, anywhere that we barely had cell phone reception.

The facility, itself, was a modest little house with several dogs, fewer than we expected. What dogs she had were of all shapes and sizes; some abandoned, some abused, some lost, in a sense. Something all those dogs had to share was love.

The lady in charge, of the facility, had been busy the day we visited; many dogs were gone. She did have two from the same litter, a brother and sister; they were a mix of Labrador and Jack Russell; hence the term Labra-Jack.

Damian made his choice in an instant: the male. Up in his arms he went and then the two sat together, as we took care of the paperwork and then it was time to head home. The two sat in the back of the car with Liam, a friend of Damian from down the street where we live, and Rico, the new name for the dog. Damian picked the name as a means of honoring his home island of Puerto Rico.

Rico handled the long ride home well.

Although only twelve weeks old frisky, Rico handled the long ride without incident. This was good sign for the future.

Once back at the house, we settled Rico into his new home. Of course, there was the introduction to Gandalf, which was, to put it mildly, a bit tense. The old boy has had to put Rico in his place on more than one occasion.

Also of course, as a puppy he is not quite housebroken, yet. We’ve had our fair share of mistakes. That first day the poor little guy was too timid to climb the stairs to Damian’s room.

Damian likes the idea of Rico sharing his room and even his bed. Damian carried Rico up stairs that first time.

It took a bit of coaxing, but Rico finally climbed the stairs. Then there’s getting back down. That took a bit more time to master.

On Sunday Damian went with Liam and his family to Wonderworks, a local attraction; we had to puppy-sit. As we like to go to breakfast on Sunday’ we settled on brunch at the Metro Diner, a nice diner with a patio. This meant we could have Rico with us.

Again, for a puppy Rico was quite well-behaved, although he did spill the water bowl the waitress gave him. We then made a stop at PetsMart to pick up a few things, most especially a new toy for Gandalf. We didn’t want the old boy feeling neglected.

In the ensuing days, Rico has started to settle in with us. He still has a lot of accidents. Gandalf still nips and growls at Rico and Rico does try to chew inappropriate objects.

og and boy bonded (above).

Still, it’s clear he and Damian are bonding. Just this evening they spent a good amount of time running through the sprinklers across the street. Is there any simpler joy of childhood for a boy and dog to share? I tend to think they’ll be sharing a lot more such events in the coming years.


Combining the gimlet-eye of Philip Roth with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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