• Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

I like dogs, all kinds of dogs, except “biters” and those with saliva on their molars. The “biter” phenomenon is very evident in small yappers.

We have several “latchkey” dogs in the neighborhood. Two of my favorite latchkey dogs are, Tuffy 1 and Tuffy 2. The two Westie’s are the spirited neighborhood mascots. They go everywhere together, paw in paw. I have spotted them chasing their suburban driving owner in a frantic attempt for a car ride. Most dogs love car rides, who wouldn’t want to hang their head out the window with the wind blowing your ears back? Tuffies 1 and 2 have been know to frequent “The Bean”, our local coffee shop, perhaps partaking in a “bow wow” so to speak with the other customers.

Another four-legged visitor to The Bean is a yellow lab. He trots about a mile up Maplewild hill for his biscuit and water. He is often seen with his boyfriend, who he picks up on his way to the coffee stand. His boyfriend is a friendly fetching Irish setter.

Jason, the owner of The Bean always stocks a good supply of doggy biscuits so perhaps this is part of the doggy allure. I have not seen any cats in the coffee area but then this story is not about the neighborhood cats.

The wandering canines also have human company at The Bean. A group of men from Maplewild meet at The Bean everyday at 9:15 and 3:15 on the dot. While the gentlemen yap, yap, yap, the dogs, nap, nap, nap. The two legged species at The Bean are of an indeterminate age, meaning they are mostly retired but still full of beans, and I am not talking about coffee beans. I am not sure what they talk about twice a day. I wonder if the same subject comes up in the afternoon as was discussed in the morning. “Hey Elmer, did I tell you about the thirty pound fish I caught in Alaska?” “Yes, Rufus you did, but this morning at 9:15 the fish was 40 pounds, so which is it?” They are a cantankerous and exclusive group, several times I have tried to horn in on the conversation, to no avail. The club is exclusive to men and dogs.

The dogs are also male; there may be something to this. Maybe if I bring my male dogs, ‘Mr. Big and Mr. Small” to The Bean, the men will let me join in the fish tales. I am sure they could use a fresh voice in their crowd . . . or not.

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