Sunday, July 12, 2015

Three Dog Walk


The case of the dog barking in the night

What I recall most of all from the O.J. Simpson case is not the worldwide broadcast of the two hour slow motion freeway pursuit by the Los Angeles police of Simpson in a white Ford Bronco. Nor is it Simpson obligingly demonstrating for the jury that the glove just didn't fit (and thus, ..."you must acquit!").

No, what I remember most of all is the testimony of Steven Schwab. His recollection of walking his dog - elicited in fine detail by the prosecution - was an enthralling narrative of -well- walking a dog.

Leaving just after watching a rerun of The Dick Van Dyke Show, putting on the leash, exiting the home, going down this street, this alleyway, stopping here, crossing there, turning this way, then that. The prosecution wanted a thorough account. Schwab gave it to them. It was fascinating.

Of course Schwab and his dog were of interest because they came across another dog. Nicole Simpson's white Akita - red and white collar, no leash, no owner, distraught, barking, muddy, four bloody paws and legs. At the time Schwab had no idea to whom the dog belonged, he just knew it was a bloody, upset dog that followed him home barking at every house they passed.

Man and his dog and this other dog arrived back home just after the start of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The first call the LA police would get that night about the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman would be about this bloody pawed white Akita that had been barking in the night. They could not have cared less. Nor was Animal Control interested in coming to get this dog. So, neighbors of Schwab, Sukru Boztepe and his wife, Bettina Rasmussen, offered to take the dog in.

Later, when the white Akita would not settle down, the couple decided to take it out and see where it might take them. And so, like every episode of Law and Order ever made, folks walking around come upon the bloody scene of the crime - this time with shades of Lassie.

Did the blood look wet, Rasmussen was asked. "I was remembering, it was coming down like a river," she replied.

The dog that came back. The dog that left.

I was walking our dog, Bodhi, around the neighborhood the other day when I heard someone shouting, "I had a dog like that." He was sitting in a lawn chair just inside his garage. His name is Ed. He's 82. It took a few exchanges to understand it wasn't the breed, or color, but Bodhi's rambunctiousness that reminded him of his dog.

Now Bodhi isn't out of control, but she is intensely interested in smells on both sides of the sidewalk and always eager to move on to the next one. I was very proud of her manners as we walked over to chat with Ed. She sat politely, panting, as he and I visited for a bit.

We were just meeting Ed. The dog he recollected was a feisty one. It would run so fast across the football field that it would fall and tumble two or three times. Maybe a dog better suited for a farm. So, they that's where his dad took it. About 30 miles away.

Well, wouldn't you know about a month later in the middle of the night that dog showed up under his bedroom window howling and barking to get in. Thirty miles it traveled to come back. They kept the dog.

Boy, he sure loved that dog. When he was in the service it really missed him. When he came back it was real happy he had. Gave Ed goose bumps just thinking about him.

There was this other dog, a golden retriever. Cost a bit of money, but they like water and they were living on a lake up in Haywood. Six months after they moved to Rochester, Ed's wife dies of lung cancer. Thirty days to the day after that, the dog dies.

He has a cat now.

The tautological dog

from May 23, 2013:

It was only by chance I recently read that whoever takes on a pet makes a contract with sorrow. Yes, but much joy as well.

The exchange is more than fair. I think we all got the better of the deal. What's a bit of weeping at the close of 14 years of such great loving.

Every dog is just the best dog in the world - and surely Brenna was - which is why all dogs go to heaven.


"Finally," writes Kenneth Burke, "there is the 'tautological' dog. We have here in mind the fact that a dog involves a particular set of associations which, in a sense, reproduce his 'spirit.'"

No comments:

Post a Comment