Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sydney Rides

Sydney and I enjoyed a few more months as part of wedded bliss, then Julie threw us both out. She filed for divorce and custody of Joe. I didn’t ask for custody of Sydney but somehow, that’s how the deal went down. She got the kid and I got the dog. I guess she felt she couldn’t handle both.

I didn’t much handle Sydney. He seemed to want to go everywhere with me, but otherwise made no pressing demands so I let him tag along – always without a leash. As a result, we became recognized as a duo. He was welcome wherever we went.

People generally liked him better than me so I often benefited from our association. One case in point: a very nice lady managed her husband’s tobacco shop in the Fairfax District where I bought cigars and pipe tobacco. The rule was that Sydney never came into stores with me. He waited, sometimes impatiently, at the door while I conducted my business. When this charming lady saw Sydney in her doorway, she invited him and began to offer him biscuits. As low to the ground as he was, Sydney could spring about four feet straight up and nab a cookie from her hand. This was after the Cuban cigar embargo was established, but any decent tobacconist had avenues of importation. Because of Sydney, Mrs. Wittner developed a trust in me and I was able to buy bona fide Cuban cigars – at the same price as any reasonable Central American cigar - until the day of her retirement.

I drove nothing but convertibles in those days—with the top down. Sydney’s place of preference was on the flattened canvas of the lowered top. But Sydney seldom just sat there, He usually paced back and forth from one side of the canvas cover to other and then leaned off the edge against the passing wind. If I happened to make too sharp a turn, he sometimes fell off. If I noticed, I would pull up and wait for him to catch up. If I didn’t notice…well…he always found his way home. Luckily, he was never injured by this risky practice.

I have nine years of interesting Sydney memories and stories I could tell, but, to tell the truth,I’ve lost heart for this reminiscence. My close friends, and many others I’m sure, well remember Sydney to this day. Beyond these few notes, the rest of the world will just have to do without knowing more of this fabulous little character.
--Sketched on an envelope by Otho as a commemoration after Sydeny died.


At July 09, 2008 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I remember Sidney! Sidney is a legend along with BJ & Julie. Sidney was the first and only dog to take a nip out of me even tho I am not sure it even broke the skin. I was delighted to grab at Sidney but he was not about to be pushed around by a little girl. Sidney had dignity.
Sidney left his mark on the world, Lisa

At July 09, 2008 9:36 AM, Blogger BJMe said...

He was a little nipper. I assume you noted the driver of the VW, with his smooth Italian maneuvers.


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