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April 2, 2013

Goethe Growing

Roy Meachum

It hasn’t reached the point where the handsome Weimaraner spouts the poetry of his famous name-progenitor; but in other ways I receive compliments on North Market Street in our twice-daily routine.


We careen along among cascades of “How beautiful he is.” (I get this a lot.) The other thing people notice is his size, together with false assumption in his bloodline: “Is he a Great Dane?” Even people who grew up with the breed: “Is there anyone else in there?” The D.C. Weimaraner Rescue gave papers on how pure he is.


In the main, I recognize how his nose is a frequent visitor when I try to do something else. Right now the boy-dog has thrust his huge head between the computer and me; I never get mad, figuring it to be a sign that he wants human attention. Weimaraners are notorious for remaining close to their humans; I fell during those first weeks – sometimes hard. Bruises and scratches, but nothing broken.


Readers know of my 14 years with Pushkin, the English Pointer. Goethe is his true love stand-in, not a replacement. We sleep together and he’s always good for settling down, after he exercises his rights: an envelope unattended, paper in the wastebasket and anything left hanging about the floor and on a kitchen space. He’s not averse to rising on his back legs to snatch some treasured object.


Goethe has a cage inherited from Pushkin’s time of teething. The Weimaraner slips through the closing gate, seemingly glad to be there; a biscuit follows. Neither I’ve ever known him acting-up, nor has anyone else in our friendship petitioned me to leave him free because he detests being locked away. Of course, when they’re frequent visitors, I receive dark looks. But I remind them of what Goethe tended to do, when they visited the yellow-door house on North Market Street earlier.


People must respect animals, their need for dignity; even in the smallest puppies and cats. Certainly, my part-Siamese Pike’ knew that. When I returned from Rome covering the Vatican II’s aftermath, she nabbed me on a sidewalk and I’ve never heard such language – human, feline, canine and in public.


Pike’ died peacefully almost 50 years ago. I stayed home and no longer estimated me as a foreign correspondent. I don’t mean travelling. When I returned from an assignment overseas, she was long gone. Like that!


Writing away, oblivious to any sounds around, I kept on watch for the clattery noises of the postman. In the end, I felt I was doing an exact survey of my feelings – at the time. Only to discover later that, in masking my sub-thoughts, I had not done so much concealing.


Goethe will leave in time. This is my last dog. With my knee replacement, I don’t get around so much. But he’s a good replacement, for whatever!!


In the after-life, I consider the Weimaraner proper for sending me off.


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