We were returning to the car this morning after our walk when a woman and her Basenji entered the park through the entrance at the rear of the park.
“What is that?” Tux wanted to know. I explained to him that it was a dog and was called a Basenji. “Why isn’t he talking to us?” Tux asked as he pondered a dog who wasn’t barking. I explained that the Basenji didn’t “talk” in the same way that other dogs did. He asked if the Basenji was a “real” dog then. I said yes. I also explained that a dog looking very much like a Basenji was found depicted on the walls of the great Pyramid in Egypt from 2700 BCE or 4700 years ago. Tux was quiet after that explanation. “Hmmm,” said he. “That dog may have been a Pharaoh’s favorite, but I’m your favorite and that makes me pretty special.” Awwww. How can you not love a boy who says things like that?
We continued moving slowly through the park. Grace was with us and she is still favoring the paw that she injured earlier this year. The pace didn’t bother me, it was a beautiful almost-summer morning, still cool, the sun barely up, and we were walking along a tree-shaded path.
Around the bend ahead of us, two people were jogging toward us. They stopped and the man stepped out of sight and returned to the path with a huge dog on the end of a leash. As we neared them, I realized that the dog had to weigh at least a hundred pounds. My first thought was that it was a Mastif and Chocolate Labrador mix.
As we came abreast of the couple and their behemoth, I realized that it wasn’t a mixed breed at all. It was a terribly obese Chocolate Lab. Period.
The Lab looked at Grace in a way that Tux took umbrage with. I had already moved us off the path and into the grass out of reach of the Lab. At that point, the couple, who had slowed down, told me that Bubba wasn’t at all aggressive and was quite friendly. Tux didn’t believe a word of it. He lunged at the other dog just as the Lab decided to get smarmy with Grace. The other couple moved quickly on.
Tux, who hadn’t been called on to defend his sister’s honor in over three weeks, walked a little taller as we went on our way. “Huh,” he said. “I guess I showed him a thing or two.” He had, indeed, vanquished Bubba with the other couple helping him by dragging Bubba along the path and out of harm’s way.
On the last leg of our walk, Tux noticed something on the path. He didn’t have time to stalk it. It had appeared too fast to be stalked. He did, however, walked up to it rather sneakily. Whatever it was, it moved and Tux jumped straight up into the air. When he landed, he walked away from the creature on the path with as much dignity as he could muster despite the snickering of his sister. The creature that had scared him was a Cicada, a flying bug about a half inch long. No wonder Grace was snickering. Tux, for his part, declared the Cicada dangerous and a known hater of dogs. Neither Grace nor I were buying it, but we let him believe what he would.
We can believe what we want. Although it might be wiser to check the facts first before treating our beliefs as if they’re written in stone.