Canine Connection

By Erik Dolson

I’ve had a number of wonderful dogs in my life, going back to childhood. I’ve loved them, played with them, walked with them, taken them to the vet, buried them with tears flowing down my cheeks.

Consequently, I’m a little mystified by my response to all the dogs I’m now seeing everywhere, especially on the docks, coming off boats, in dinghies, on sidewalks. Not just small or medium-sized “boat dogs.” Full-sized, sometimes really large dogs. Today a St. Bernard.

And often now, more than one: today a pair of some kind of large “doodle” dogs were leashed to a man with short and very curly hair. I don’t think he appreciated my joke. Shortly after that, a black lab matched with a golden lab jumped from a couple’s dinghy. After they got everything sorted out to head into town, I asked if they traded which dog each walked. “No! This is MY dog. The black Lab is HIS!” I wondered if there were behavioral issues at play.

Anywhere and everywhere, all these dogs. People don’t want to leave their dog in the car any more, either, even with air conditioning. “Service Dogs Only,” is pretty much a joke. I think Home Depot has hired a canine effluent specialist.

Aside from wondering how much protein goes in one end and how much poop comes out the other, I also wonder if we are so starved for love in America that we have to buy a sense of connection.

Of course, people can spend their money however they like. And maybe I’m just imagining this canine cornucopia, like when I bought a silver Subaru and suddenly there were silver Subarus at every intersection. But I don’t think so.

Of course, if I didn’t live half my life on a boat, which complicates things greatly, there’s no doubt a Humane Society rescue would be sleeping on the floor at the end of my bed (“get down!”).

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About Erik Dolson

Erik Dolson is a writer living in Oregon

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