Monday, October 3, 2011

Dogs on Loan

I was walking my children to school the other day in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and saw a familiar Golden Retriever, or so I thought. “Oh hi Maryland,” I said while bending down to stroke her soft head.

“It’s not Maryland,” the dog walker said, “It’s Duchess.”

“Where is Maryland?” I asked, knowing the woman had another Golden Retriever by that name.

“She’s having puppies and is with the breeder. I’m borrowing Duchess, one of her other dogs.”

I like that idea, it gives the dog on loan some new scenery, and the temporarily dog-less people fresh company. It reminds me of when we lived in Fresno, California and used to loan our German Shepherd, Tiffany, to our neighbors. Their dad would go away on business and Tiffany would go over and spend a couple of days with them. Everyone was happy. Tiffany enjoyed the neighbors and their fussing over her. They enjoyed her companionship and protection. We'd rake the carpets while she was gone, and we enjoyed the chance of getting away while not having to worry about rushing home to let out the dog.

Samantha, Kevin and Tiffany, 2004

Our sharing of Tiffany was just a repeat of what our neighbors, the Reutemanns, did for us 25 years earlier in suburban Philadelphia. We were between dogs. The Reutemanns said we could have their copper-colored Lab mix over whenever we wanted her. Susie would stay for hours. When it was time to go home, we open the back door, Susie would cross the driveway, and bark at her backdoor until she was let inside. It was great to return the favor to someone else all those years later.

Susie on loan with Bob (back), Chris (left) & Kevin Walsh. Meadowbrook, PA 1973

So loaner dogs works in more ways than one. If you have a shared dog story, share it here. And post a picture.

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