Friday, April 14, 2006

Sydney Duck

Sydney Duck was the same breed and looked, at his best, like Toto. But his hot little body gave him a dry, itchy skin which made him gnaw at fleas and his fur. As a result he generally looked pretty scruffy.

Nevertheless, I loved Sydney, but he didn't love me. He had loved one person in his life, Julie, for whom he was a Christmas present in 1961. But then we got married; and Julie got pregnant. And Sydney's feeling changed against her and he never loved a person again.

His problem came to a head one evening when Julie was about six or seven months pregnant. Arriving home after a dinner out, Julie made a considerate move toward Sydney. He snapped back at her and ran down the hill toward Sunset Blvd. He ran across the street against the light and was whacked by a car bumper and knocked to the street. He got quickly back on his feet and churned his short legs racing down Larrabee.

I jumped back into the car and headed after him. I couldn't catch up with him, but persons I asked along the way said they saw the little fellow racing west toward Beverly Hills. Cars were stopping, I was told, with persons jumping out and giving chase, but Sydney wasn't a dog to be caught on the run. I finally gave up.

I returned home to a distraught julie and we spent the next couple of days waiting by the phone for a call from from a finder of Sydney and his dog tags. But no calls and no Sydney. Finally I talked Julie into leaving the apartment for some coffee and fresh air on Pupi's patio, a bakery/coffee shop where I hung out in those days and usually let Sydney come with me. We pulled up at the curb and as we got out of the car, Sydney stood up beside the tree where he usually waited while I had my coffee.

His fur was matted and dirty and his belly was a bit raw from the slamming to the street. Julie was ecstatic, but Sydney was slow and restrained in our reunion. No tail wagging or licking or delight shown at seeing us. Sydney had written off Julie and her unborn child and was my dog from that day on. Not that he transferred any affection from Julie to me. He just became my pal.

I have to admit I like that in a dog. It may be the reason I loved the little guy so much. I have a pretty good affinity for dogs; I like them in general and they seem to be comfortable with me. But I relate to independance and canine self-sufficiency and have not been able to successfully partner with one since Sydney. One thing I have a problem with is the leash law. I never put Sydney on a leash. I know it's the right thing to do in the city, that's why I have the problem. It's right, but I hate it.

We are planning a move to a single family house with a yard. Maybe I can work it out. Or maybe I'll move to the country.


At April 16, 2006 6:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are after all, Canine, on Mother's side..
I did enjoy your memory with Sidney Duck..



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