Watching the Westminster Kennel Club’s events makes me wonder about the dog’s real background. He is not a purebred. He is more like me — a blend.
Then the question arises about his group. Is he a hound, a sporting or possibly a herder?
The answer is clear. He is obviously a working dog. He works all the time.
First, he stands at the front window protecting our house from all passers-by. He seeks to keep the mailman and the neighbor’s gardener from robbing us of mail and grass.
Those on the other side of the glass do not know that he is a lover and not a fighter. We do not let on.
Ever on guard, he makes an alarm unnecessary. He is there to announce all UPS and Federal Express drivers, as well as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormon missionaries and youth selling solar panels.
Second, he works to keep us from having to clean the floor of crumbs or spills. He can clean the kitchen in a few minutes, although he will leave behind a trace of broccoli now and then. If allowed, we would not need a dishwasher.
Third, his work day includes helping me maintain my weight. Every time I get a snack, he stares me down. It is not worth a sneaking a nosh or two. If I do break down and gets some chips, he begs until he gets some. That way, he saves me the calories.
Sure, I know that people food is not suitable for dogs, but guilt sometimes trumps good sense.
Lastly, his ability to work a con is only exceeded by his ability to be cute. It takes effort to be so endearing that one forgets being upset at unnecessary barking or begging.
All this work causes him to need long naps, which he spends curled up on his rug.
I have often wondered what I might do without him. He provides humor and hair pulling, protection and comic relief. Without him, I’d be less encumbered, but far lonelier.
If you have followed this saga for five years, you will remember that he is what is called: “a Rescue.” The double meaning of that is not lost on us.
While he is not a native of Tracy, there are others of his ilk who are. They are quartered off Arbor Road. Their pictures often appear in the Tracy Press.
Photographer Glenn Moore speaks of his love-hate relationship with these animals, but we all know that he really is drawn to them.
The dogs (and even cats) out at the shelter did not choose their fate. One suspects that they would rather have a nice, permanent home with its own supply of treats.
If you have the room, they would likely trade their kennel for your couch.
While they try to make the best of it, they are very willing to help a lonely, unprotected person like you fend off Federal Express drivers and magazine salesmen.
• Mike McLellan can be contacted by calling and leaving a message at 830-4231 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.