As most of you know, I continue to make my living as a Trademark Paralegal, still working for Carle Mackie Power & Ross albeit at quite a distance from Santa Rosa, CA, due to the marvels of the Internet and the kindness of my employers. Much as I love Sonoma County, it was becoming unbearable to live there.
I have set up an office at a corner of my bedroom. A louvered window is just to the left of my desk and, to the left of that are the large sliders that lead to the lanai. The weather, these past few weeks, has warmed reliably into the mid-70s so I keep the slider open and the screen closed, and enjoy puffs of warm air as I peer at the monitor and type away.
On March 29, as I sat diligently working, something outside caught my eye and I saw a huge white dog walk by. I’ve seen cats amble along the lava but never a dog, so I watched him for a moment and went back to work. A few minutes later, something caught my eye again and I looked over to see the huge white dog on the lanai. He sniffed about for a moment before we established eye contact.
I have been accused of exaggeration on occasion (patently untrue) but you must believe me when I say that unless there is a Saint Bernard in the neighborhood, this must have been the largest dog on the island. He looked like a full-grown Lab, creme in color, that someone had been feeding very well indeed. He surely weighed close to 125 pounds. I told him to go home. He grinned at me and stayed put. I went out and he backed off a step or two, but came right up when I held out my hand and nuzzled into my leg. His coat was not only glossy, it was brushed and healthy, and he was obviously friendly.
I did what I always do when faced with puzzling situations on this island: I called my sister, who has rescued a dog or two, or ten or thirty, in her life. She came right over and agreed that this was, indeed, a huge friendly white dog, undoubtedly somebody’s pet although he had no tags. She suggested I come over for dinner, to give the dog a chance to go home, and that if he was still around in the morning I could take him to the vet and see if he was micro-chipped. Dinner was, as always, delicious (my sister is an amazing cook) and the big white dog was waiting on the lanai when I got home. I put out a bowl of water and some towels for him to lie on, and came inside.
Then, of course, it started raining. Hard. He was deep in a corner of the lanai well protected from the wet, but, well, it was raining. Really hard. And really, he was a big, handsome, friendly white dog. So I opened the door and let him in, and in he came. He was so fat that when he flopped down on his side, the fat flopped down beside him like a second full-grown Lab.
The next morning, Judy at Ali’i Vet scanned him and found a chip which she traced to the Kailua Kona Humane Society. They said he’d been adopted from them, but that he’d also been turned in as a stray a month ago, and retrieved by his owner. Somebody cared for this big white dog, but wasn’t keeping an eye on him. He cozied up to everyone who came in, wagging his tail like mad and making goo-goo eyes, and keeping close to my side. We got phone numbers for his owners, but they didn’t pick up. I said I would take him home with me, and call the Humane Society to come pick him up on Monday — he was already in their system, so I pretty much had to although I decided that if his owner didn’t show up, I’d adopt him myself. I bought cans of expensive diet dog-food and took him home.
We had a fine week-end, this big white dog and me. He wasn’t particularly athletic although he did his best to gallumph around the front yard a couple of times; he came when I called; he let it be known that he found the rations good but a mite on the skimpy side; and he curled up beside the bed at night and snored – and it felt so good to have another living creature in the house. I made plans for walks to help us both lose weight, and I played with names for him. From the way he hauled me around on the leash when we saw the vet, I thought to call him John Deere. The name Kielbasa also crossed my mind. My sister and her partner suggested Sumo.
Then, Monday morning, the animal control officer called to say he was on his way, followed closely by a call from the dog’s owner, and both of them showed up at about the same time. No question but that the dog (whose name turned out to be Blanco) and the guy were close. The animal control officer and I grilled the guy, and he convinced us that Blanco had escaped through no fault of the owner and had been terribly missed, and Blanco convinced us too, so the animal control officer gave them both a ride home. I waved goodbye to the big white dog as they pulled out of the driveway. The owner thought I was waving at him, but I wasn’t.
And then, and then, came the adventure of the little white dog.