Old dogs. There is something to love about an old dog who asks nothing from you other than to be a part of your life. Scout is a part of my life. He’s about 14 years old, and I’ve had him since he was a pup. In fact, one of his first duties was to ride shotgun with me while I tinted windows on the weekends. He became somewhat of a local celebrity with many of the referral customers because when I showed up with Scout they would tell me I was recommended by a friend who told them I would arrive in a Jeep Wrangler with a miniature Australian Shepherd. He loves to go and he doesn’t care where.
He is the kind of dog you can only hope to have. As a puppy he would fetch a ball or Frisbee without any coaxing. He not only had fun growing up but he is also a working dog. Put a bandana on his neck and he knows it’s time to go. I never worried about leaving him in the Jeep during the summer, even with the top off as he wouldn’t run away. I could tell him to stay and he would. If we both got out of the Jeep he would walk just slightly ahead of me, but always seemed to know where I was going. A leash? Not at all. Folks would freak out when we got out at Broadway and Crawford at my friend Mike’s car lot on a Saturday thinking Scout would take off into traffic at the busy intersection. But he was more interested in seeing who was inside the building. After all, it was time to go to work.
Anytime I go through a drive-thru, Scout will always get the attention he deserves. All I can say is he can be a little picky when they send a dog bone his way. I’m really not sure where he gets that from. He is also a good judge of character, and I trust him when it comes to this. When he’s not sure of someone, he sits at my feet but usually he will be there to greet someone he’s never met.
Scout loves to stop and see my folks. He knows my dad will scratch him in all the right places and that my mother has a bag of treats hidden in the storage compartment of her foot stool. She a softy and he’s not afraid to capitalize on it. The funny thing is, as picky as he can be, no matter what my mother gives him he will take it. He knows it’s the right thing to do and how happy it makes her.
He’s listened to Journey’s Greatest Hits more than he probably cares to and I’m sure when he’s sleeping he’s humming a few bars of ‘Don’t stop believing’ in his dreams.
He’s a good dog. No wait – a great dog. And as his hearing has faded to the point where I can get home on my motorcycle and he sleeps right through it, he is always happy to see me. That’s the worst part of riding my bike, that he doesn’t get to go along. Believe me, I’ve thought about getting the pet carrier to take him, but that’s just not his style. Nobody puts baby in the corner, if you know what I mean…He sits up front with me.
As he and I are both getting older, he knows I can’t throw the ball as far as I used to and he doesn’t want to run as fast as he did before. But that’s okay. I also know that Scout has made my life better just by being in it. He’s listened to Journey’s Greatest Hits more than he probably cares to and I’m sure when he’s sleeping he’s humming a few bars of ‘Don’t stop believing’ in his dreams. I can only hope that I’ve made his life as enjoyable as he’s made mine.