My sister-in-law left this weekend, and she's now driving back across the country to her home in Vermont. Hank already misses her.
Me? You seen one human, you've seen them all. Two legs, some number of arm pits, blah blah blah. The dog, however, I miss. He was a good boy, a very very good boy. Four legs better.
So, in honor of Zante, I present the follow memories of that fine doggie.
1) The night before my sis-in-law left town, we threw a small party, giving my parents a chance to meet her. I knew that my mother was very afraid of dogs, but I was confident that this would be a positive experience for her. Generally when dogs trot over to my mother, she shrieks, "NO! No doggy! Aaaaah! Doggydoggydoggyleavemealone! No! SIT?"
She gets mixed results with this approach. And, true to form, she kept her distance from Zante for the first couple hours of the party. HOWEVER, by the end of the evening, before she left, she stopped to pet the dog.
"What a nice doggie," she said.
2) Like most dogs, Zante is a very social animal. Sometimes I'd be the only person in the house, so he'd come into my office for some company. Although I had put out a towel for him to lay on, sometimes he'd squirm his way between my desk and my chair, seeking to find the spot in the room that left the fewest number of molecules between us. Then he'd give my mousing hand a hopeful nuzzle.
What a good boy.
3) Zante was a very obedient dog. Aside from his reluctance to go on walks with me, he was very good at quickly responding to any of the commands that he knew. When there was a treat being offered him, but he had not yet been given the signal to eat it, he'd sit there, vibrating and drooling, waiting for the "ok" sign.
Anyway, one evening when it was time for Daisy to go to bed, I invited Zante into her room to let her say goodnight to him. I patted her bed so that he'd hop up. Daisy's bed is covered with soft blankets, and cushy stuffed animals. Zante immediately found the coziest spot and curled up into a little ball.
"Ok, Zante", I commanded after a minute. "Down."
He gave me a classic "No comprendo, señor" look.
Then he shot me the big brown sad eyes.
It took a fair amount of coaxing to get him to leave what was apparently the nicest spot in the house. We got there eventually.
What a good boy.