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February 17, 2012

Pushki, Wait for Me!

Roy Meachum

Before starting to write this column, I stepped over to the love seat: Pushkin failed to climb to his favorite sleeping cushion. My attempt to help he rejected vigorously; at least we have reached the point – after 13 plus years – he no longer feigns to bite me.


Funny thing, we visited Dr. Stacey Dimaria for acupuncture Wednesday; usually the West Frederick veterinarian improves his mood and condition. She wields the Chinese needles with aplomb, but that’s only part of her treatment. He’s on the floor when she consoles him, which makes it difficult to compliment on her “bedside manner.” It’s there anyway.


The English pointer enjoys his promenades. A former city mayor called him “the mayor of downtown.” But these days arthritis hampers both of us to North Market Street. We don’t always reach BB&T for the bank’s biscuits; generally we cross at the Tasting Room corner. I try to award compliments to all passers-by. He contents himself with scavenging. Frequently, he sniffs frequently. He has a great time as we approach the pretzel-pizza place on the next block. Usually he finds something; the scent is almost as good.


When we return to the yellow door, he generally makes it up the three steps to the blue-painted stoop, and he waits patiently for me to unsnap the leash. We have gone back to the slip collar since I discovered he’d followed me to the county treasurer’s door; two pretty young ladies hugged him when I went in to talk business. That was new.


Normally, over the years, particularly when businesses and offices have imposed restrictions, Pushkin would tarry wherever I tied him; neither of us was very happy. He didn’t explode with joy when I returned; he possesses too much dignity and savoir faire. He proceeds through life with nobility that approaches majesty. For example, strangers try to summon him by extending their hands; he refuses to be taken in. Children are the exceptions that prove the rule.


Even as a puppy, the frisky English pointer didn’t knock down any kids. He was available for petting and rubbing, as he still is. His answer to young brawlers and ear pinchers is to simply move away. In every twice-a-day promenade he attracts admirers, both old and young. My hearing aid rings with compliments daily, usually on the line of how handsome he is and splendid looking.


We live alone behind North Market’s only yellow door. Out of respect, I refuse invitations that would take me out-of-town even for a single night. Several friends understand not to ask. I sometimes slip out for evenings; dinners are the usual excuse. But then, I hurry back, so the best friend I’ve ever had in all my life will not open his eyes – without seeing me.


Pushki, don’t go away soon, or ever. Wait for me!


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