by cheri sabraw
One of my most memorable dogs was Maggie, a gorgeous liver and white Springer Spaniel who coped patiently with my typewriter, my stacks of uncorrected essays written in awful cursive or those typed on thin paper with many keyboarding errors.
Maggie, by her nature, was about as enthusiastic as a dog could be. Her docked tail–the kids called it a stump–wagged like a metronome set to allegro.
When her exercise needs had not been met and running in circles around a small backyard didn’t take the edge off, she would plant her muzzle on my leg, wherever my leg might be, and rest it there, staring at me, rarely blinking, with her luminous brown eyes. The muzzle became heavier, weighted down by her head and long ears, which looked like strips of shiny mink.
At times, I felt like a pheasant, something she ached to flush out of the underbrush.
But work is work. Papers must be corrected. (Those were the days when most English teachers actually corrected student writing.)
Now, many dogs later, I find myself in Portland, Oregon, taking care of grandchildren and their puppy.
Typewriters have been replaced by a computer, iPad, and iPhone: hobbies such as writing for my own entertainment or oil painting replace those stacks of essays of yore.
Now, my Grand Dog, a Labradoodle puppy named Matty, insists on my undivided attention. She is smart enough to figure out the best strategy: get up close and personal.
Let’s go for a walk. The leaves are falling. The sun is out for the first time all week.