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How I survived (so far)

February 4, 2022

Only an idiot would try to say something new about dogs. So I will try.

Robert Kahn

By Robert Kahn

Deputy editor emeritus, Courthouse News

What shall it profit a man if he gain the world but lose his dogs?

Cleo, larger and stronger than Titus, rules with an iron paw. (Robert Kahn/Courthouse News)

Stopped at a red light, the lady in the left lane honked and lowered her shotgun-seat window and shouted: “Where would we be without our dogs?” smiling at Titus and Cleo in the back seat. “I’m with you, sister,” I hollered as the light turned green.

True enough, in these plague years.

I’m double-vaxxed, boosted and masked, but still I hesitate to make the rounds as in days of yore. I live 2 miles from the best sushi joint in Denver, a 15-minute drive from the new wing of the Denver Art Museum, and 20 minutes from the Nuggets’ stadium.

But … what game are we playing? What are the stakes and what are the odds?

Suppose I say to hell with it, and take myself out to see the Avalanche play the Blackhawks: What could I win and what could I lose?

This is not normal thinking. This is normal thinking during a plague.

I credit my dogs with keeping me alive these two years and counting — the dogs and Cherry Creek Dog Park. And I’m not the only one.

With 100 acres of open space and more dogs than people, and a 100-mile stretch of the Front Range so near you could purt near touch it, there’s no need to mask up in the dog park. Nor need humans huddle and breathe one another’s breaths. 

After all, all we talk about, mostly, is our dogs.

Now, I taught in public high schools for nine years, and I know you ain’t supposed to play favorites. But, come on, everybody plays favorites. You can’t help it. So I admit that aside from Titus and Cleo, my favorite is Harvey.

Harvey contemplates his next move. (Robert Kahn/Courthouse News)

Harvey is a handsome bloodhound, with ears and jowls to die for, and a placid disposition. He the stubbornest dog you’ll ever see in your life.

Hound dogs are stubborn. But I don’t believe a hound dog is even strictly a dog. I think a hound dog is a dog and an atavism.

(Dear Reader: The rest of this column is written in doggish, translated from the Bloodhound by Cleo and Titus. Harvey did not respond to telephone queries or repeated emails. I guess he couldn’t be bothered.)

Harvey lives on his own time. He knows what you want, but he don’t care. That week-old scent trail Harvey picked up takes precedence at the moment.

History shows that Harvey will lie down in the weeds at every walk, forever, because he don’t want to leave the park just yet. Harvey says, for those with ears to hear: ‘Yeah, I hear you. So what?’ Then Harvey will roll over onto his back in the weeds and squirm and wiggle around to scratch hisself. (I told you this was from the doggish.)

So Harvey’s boss, or acolyte, actually, a human, has to traipse into the weeds as the morning wears on and hook the dawg up to the leash and haul him out of the park. Harvey don’t fight it. It’s against Harvey’s nature to fight. ‘Live and let live’ is Harvey’s code. 

OK, I know what you’re thinking:

Q: In a suit at law, may a bloodhound’s testimony be allowed?

A: Not in a criminal case in Nebraska.

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