Richard’s Vacation: Meeting man’s best friend
Sometimes in life you just want to go for a walk and leave your cell phone behind so that you can just get away from it all. And sometimes, depending on where you are in Texas, you can still take your cell phone with you and get away from it all due to the lack of cell phone coverage.
Maybe Sprint/Nextel just needs to erect a tower in Kenedy, Karnes City or Nixon.
While staying at my parents house outside of Beeville, Texas (it’s hard to describe where they live since Texas–unlike Michigan and other states–doesn’t have townships), I decided to go a few times out on a walk.
“Make sure you take a stick with you,” my Dad told me. “Some of the dogs down the road might get aggressive.”
So, I took a shovel since I could not find a stick. My intention was to use it to shoo away any aggressive dogs. Most dogs, when they see you waving a stick with a scary piece of metal on the end, are smart enough to keep their distance. Others will approach, bark, see you are zero threat to them, their property and their owners and will quickly lose interest.
A few houses down, some dogs ran up to me. All friendly. One was too friendly.
My son, Robert, holds Steffi. She came to my parents’ house and refused to leave.
She looked like a young German Shepherd, so I dubbed her “Steffi” after this famous German tennis star:
According to her husband Andre Agassi’s autobiography, Steffi Graf actually prefers to be called “Stephanie”.
The other dogs quickly lost interest in me when they saw I was no threat, had no dog treats or wasn’t some delicious cat, but Steffi kept following me.
And following me.
And following me.
“I’m not your owner, Steffi!” I told her. “You need to stop following me!”
Of course, she continued. I tried even barking to her in Dogspeak, but that didn’t seem to work either.
We walked past other dogs, including a Boxer owned by a high school friend Tommy and his wife, Amy. The Boxer and the other dogs barked at Steffi, who barked back.
“They’re trying to tell you that you need to head back home, Steffi,” I said.
I turned the corner half a mile from my parents’ house and walked another quarter of a mile down the road. Where I finally stopped walking you could see Beeville in the distance, including the white water tower near the north side of the town (the fat water tower, not the small one that’s near the campus of what used to be Bee County College [now Coastal Bend College]).
My plan had been to go there onto Wofford Lane to have some private time. Listen to cicadas (one of my all-time favorite activities to do in the Texas summer). Maybe even cry. Stare at the sky. Look for horned frogs. Let my active, restless mind wander.
Steffi kept wagging her tail and panting.
So, we headed back and dealt with the barking dogs again and finally made it back to my parents’ house. Steffi’s friends came out and greeted her, but she kept walking with me.
I got home and introduced my Dad and my sons and nephews to my “friend”. Eventually, Steffi’s owners came and claimed her.
I never did find out if Steffi was her real name.
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