Thursday, April 19, 2018

Joyous Rusty

Here is my dog, my American Dingo my companion on the trail with me. He brings joy into my life every day and I would be a poorer man without him. There is lots I would do without, but my dog never lets me down. He's one of the steadfast elements in my life, the ones that deliver laughter. 
I got him just over two years ago and we have settled into a routine of walks and naps all leavened with fun. He  and I walk all over the place, different places every day and on those days when I can't take him as far as he'd like he waits patiently for the next opportunity. He is my accomplice in getting me out of the house and making the bleakest landscapes places of exploration and fun. I laugh more with him than anywhere. He is a gift.
We are losing another experienced dispatcher at work and Shannon's shoes will be hard to fill, Her husband an air traffic controller got a transfer and she wants to go back to school, not to continue dispatching.  You can hardly blame her as she aspires to a new career, but the pressure is now tighter than ever at night with only three experienced dispatchers and two recently trained inexperienced employees to cover six positions. The idea has been to have two seasoned dispatchers on each shift so now to accomplish that we will have an increasing share of overtime to help each other out.
For Rusty this doesn't mean much except that I have less energy to take him into town for walks. I know he likes urban walks but early in the morning walks only come if I get two nights off in a  row and can rest,
 Fortunately there are lots of trails we can enjoy closer to home.
I am always amazed by the equanimity of this dog in the face of a past that I am pretty sure was rough before he was abandoned in the Redlands of Homestead. I get  hints every now and again. The other day I pulled a broom out of the closet and walked towards him simply carrying it. H scuttled out onto the terrace to get away. I had to take the time to convince him he wasn't getting a beating. I think he's over that PTSD trigger at least for now.
Gunfire freaks him out but with some justification as nursery operators in the Redlands hate stray dogs and poison and shoot them. It's had to imagine humans recovering from such abuse, but Rusty has turned it all around. He impresses me in ways most humans cannot.
I look at dogs walked daily on my street plodding along the same route day after day with no hope of variety or excitement or a break in their routine. Rusty gets a different walk every day. Every day we  hop in the car and take a short drive to a different trail or open space. This way I keep keep him fresh and alert and help to keep his mind active. 
I would miss him terribly were he to walk out of my life. I trust we have quite a few years ahead and for both our benefit we will keep walking.