We’ve always been a dog family.
Growing up, it was springer spaniels, whose happy energy helped them live up to their names. As an adult, I started a love affair with Golden Retrievers, the gorgeous goofballs of the dog universe. My first Golden, Sachi, was a gorgeous little blonde with a wicked sense of humor. My current Golden, Bodhi, is a big, robust red boy with the most expressive eyes — and who cracks both himself and me up on a daily basis.
But before Bodhi came along — and before my Sachi left us — I let Coyote into my life, a husky/white-shepherd mix who turned my life inside out and our household upside down. I adopted her to provide Sachi with a much-needed friend. I used to joke that if I wanted her to learn anything, I first had to negotiate with the husky side and, if she felt there was something in it for her, the shepherd side would codify it into law and so it would be forever.
Except when it wasn’t.
Sachi was my best friend, the apple of my eye and bananas of my day. She charmed me into play, fussed over me when I was sad or anxious, guarded my bedside when I was sick. The book from which I got her name translated it as “child of joy,” a kind of play on my own name, which often translates to “joy.” She was joy personified, my sun dog.
Coyote was named for the Native American trickster god. When she was younger, she was my escape artist, the sergeant in charge of Squirrel Watch, the Fun Police when things got too rowdy. But, as with the Coyote of Native mythology, she is also a source of hidden wisdom, the silent observer, the sweet, shy one. She has always been my moon dog.
So these are the characters who started the dog dialogues. As do many people who have furred and feathered creatures in their lives, I started mentally captioning my dogs’ postures and expressions, imagining conversations. And, because it’s what I do, I started writing them down. And posting them to Facebook.
So, that’s my introduction for the main cast of characters for the Dog Talk section of this blog. I’ll start by reaching into the past a little and work my way forward. There’s plenty to post. My dogs are nothing if not chatty.