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As Long as We Remember...

May 13, 2010

Pushkin Acupuncture Part 1

Roy Meachum

When the English pointer bounces me out for the daily stroll, I take great pride in how Pushkin handles people and other critters. He has down pat the principle “don’t bother me and I’ll leave you totally alone.”


Principally, four-foot guys less than half his size insist on breaking the truce; maybe their real target is themselves. The exception is kind of nice. Sometimes petite dogs – really small – sniff away at Pushki and he reciprocates. From our walks, I learned the proper way in the canine world to greet another is to smell the private parts. To try to hold pets back, especially while declaring the custom disgusting displays total ignorance about their customs and practices.


Folks on North Market, where we both live and promenade, sometimes ask my best friend’s age; they are rarely surprised when I answer: “July 9 he will be 12 years old.”


As one lady said, “It seems like he’s been around forever.” I’m in great favor of keeping him at least that long.


But we all know my corporal body enjoys no such prospect. The knee replacement was only the latest adjustment; did I mention the operation on my leg cost eventually five teeth. Go figure! Tearing my rotator cuff happened on the eve of going to see my Russian children, in Moscow and St. Petersburg; the operation waited on my return.


Any man or woman who reaches my age has hospital battles to tell; I’m no different. At least I’ve had medical interpreters to let me know what to expect. In that sense, I have a distinct advantage over my non-talking buddy. (You’ve already heard the story about how he opens his mouth and obviously wants to speak so I will understand; he’s not smiling as some people have it. He tries very hard and resorts to showing me. He’s an extremely intelligent being.)


Not as a 20-pound black-and-white butterball (12 weeks old), but shortly Pushkin grew legs, he delighted in racing to the bed ahead of me. Jumping in the center, he gave me gaze as if to say, “What takes you so long?”


When he was very small, I would scoop him off the floor, settling the puppy in my lap, while I read the morning collection of newspapers. Since he became all legs – his body developed later – the English pointer has been content to observe me from afar. In any event, generally we settle down together for the night; we hug each other. When he straight-legs me, shoving a nail into whatever part he finds, I try to remove the claw without waking him. After all, he is my best friend.


Pushkin’s life style goes downhill quickly as you'll see in Part 2.


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