LESLIE CRISS: Neighbor's dog a bright spot along daily route

By LESLIE CRISS / NEMS Daily Journal

“The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog.”

– George Graham

“If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.”

– Woodrow Wilson

“A dog teaches us fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.”

– Roger Caras

Near my neighborhood there lives a dog that makes me smile every time I pass the home he shares with his owners.
I say “his,” but the pup may be of the feminine persuasion. It matters not to me.
I know very little about this great dog, but the first time I saw him as I drove past, his dark eyes drew me in.
This may sound silly to most, but there’s something about this dog’s eyes that reminds me of Maizie and Gracie, two beloved and much-missed furry friends of mine from years past.
Other than the eyes, there’s little physical resemblance.
Like the gender, this dog’s name remains a mystery to me. Perhaps one day I’ll conjure the courage to stop and ask those who love him to tell me the canine’s story.
He’s white with black spots both big and small. One ear’s white, the other black. The black one, it seems, is usually raised to attention.
I’ve seen him in motion only once. He was not in a hurry, which makes me wonder if he’s got some years on him.
He’s rarely in the same spot. Some days he’s on the porch, others he’s resting in different areas of the yard. Sometimes, depending on the weather, he seems to follow the sun – or the shade.
On occasion, he hangs with a friend of the canine kind, but mostly, he rests alone.
On the days I’ve passed on my way to or from work and don’t see this buddy of mine, I worry. Then I’m relieved – and happy – when I see him again.
He’s often sleeping soundly when I drive by, but when he’s awake and our eyes meet, I wave.
Does he notice?
I haven’t a clue.
Still and yet, I wave.
Twice last week he was lying down, eyes closed, but as my car got closer, he lifted his head and looked at me.
I’m sure he does this to every passerby, not just the crazy woman who waves.
What a great dog!

n n n

Speaking of great dogs, let me recommend a movie that’s been playing on the Hallmark Channel. It’s also available on Netflix.
“Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” is the remake of a Japanese film and stars Richard Gere and several amazing Akitas who do a fabulous job portraying Hachi at different stages of the dog’s life.
The film is based on the true story from Japan of an Akita born in 1923 and his fierce loyalty to his master.
I’m encouraging you to watch the movie, but be forewarned: Get tissues. And prepare to have your heart ripped asunder.
But if you’ve ever loved a dog – and been loved in return – it’s well worth watching.

Contact Leslie Criss at (662) 678-1584 or leslie.criss@djournal.com.