Blinding Optimism

You know the old saying about even a blind dog sometimes being able to find a bone?   The meaning, of course, is that every once in a while life throws a little good our way, so chin up.  Be happy.  See the glass as half full.

At my house, we’ve changed the saying, though.  It goes like this:  Every once in a while, even a blind dog catches a UPS guy.

I mention my two defiant dachshunds, Laverne and Shirley, quite often.  And of course, they’re shepherded by Pancho, my three-legged Aussie, whom they despise.  But I don’t say much about Squiggy because he’s very old, nearly toothless, and blind as a bag of hammers.  He gets around the yard mostly by keeping to the same path.  Sadly, when my yard got dug up two months ago for the new pool, I found poor old Squiggy in the bottom of the newly-dug hole a time or two.  He kept bumping in the sides as he searched for a way out.  But Squiggy’s not dumb.  He’s figured out the new layout of the yard, and he carefully makes his way around the house each morning so that he can spend the greater part of his day on the front porch.  Best I can figure, he does this for one of four reasons.

  1. The front porch gets full sun all day long, and he likes the feel of sunshine on his snout.
  2. Pancho does not hang out on the front porch.
  3. Every afternoon, I bring him in from the front porch, feed him the best leftovers from the ‘fridge, and then carry him back to his bed in the garage.
  4. The UPS guy delivers to the front porch.

You see, in his prime, Squiggy terrorized UPS guys.  I’ve written before that Laverne and Shirley are biters, but their bark is truly worse than their bite.  Squiggy, on the other hand, was like the Israeli army.  Encroach on his territory, and retribution was swift, accurate, and unapologetic.  He’s had to floss the delicate ankle skin of many UPS guys, a tax collector, a pool guy, more than one yard guy, the Georgia Power meter reader, a babysitter’s boyfriend, and even my grandmother from between his teeth.

But now that most of those teeth are gone, he just sits on the front porch.  He’s waiting and hoping.

Three days ago, I was in my kitchen when the UPS truck pulled up.  I opened the front door, took the package from our nice UPS man, thanked him, and then watched in fascination as he danced around a snarling Squiggy, who was turning in circles trying to locate the man.   “I know that dog’s blind,” the UPS man said, “but he almost got me the other day.”

Squiggy reminds me of a middle-aged person going through a divorce.   A few pounds heavier, with several kids, not much money, teeth slightly yellowed, a slower step, and about to find out that dating in middle age isn’t quite the same ball game as it was in high school and college.  Still, if you don’t at least fumble your way around to the front porch, you really have no chance of catching anything.  Not even a slow UPS guy.

But hey, a dog can dream.


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