I met Charlie, a friend of Mike and Heather from back in Syracuse, a few weeks back, but at the time I had no idea he would come back again so soon. Apparently he got the job he was interviewing for that day, moved to Seattle, and will be staying with us until he finds an apartment. He better find one that allows dogs, because I plan to visit. I could tell from the first time I met him that Charlie is a dog guy: He knew exactly where I like having my head rubbed, and he did it for a long time.
Here’s what a dog guy he is. Since he didn’t know that UPS is my preferred package delivery service. he shipped his stuff here on competitors; I won’t embarrass them by printing their names. The packages arrived, and each time I got excited in vain: No UPS, no bickies. However, as soon as Charlie learned that he had made a faux pas, he pledged to buy me a whole box of biscuits to make up for it. I’m still waiting for that delivery, but it’s only been a day, and Charlie also had to start his new job at the daily newspaper and look for an apartment, so I’ll cut him some slack. I want to stay on his good side, just in case he can give me an inside track to syndicate my blog posts to other markets and platforms.
Until he started working, Charlie came along with Mike and I on our afternoon walk. Charlie is trying to get used to the park’s geography, so I am showing him around the nooks and crannies of the trail system. He quickly put my lessons to use, running the whole Loop Trail twice in about 45 minutes one morning. Yikes, that’s more than five miles, with lots of hills. I later heard him tell Mike that he sometimes takes his Jack Russell terrier Logan running with him (Logan lives in what we call “the other Washington”). I never thought I’d be saying this, but thank god I just have to put up with Mike’s demands on my fitness. I realize now that things could be worse.
Of course, even on the walks when we were showing Charlie around, Mike always made sure I got in enough aerobic exercise. Every day we did at least 15 fetches on Chloë Lane, my favorite location, and an equal number of chances in my favorite game, catch. I have previously reported about the strides I’ve made in both areas, but apparently I haven’t been giving myself enough credit. After seeing me chase down and return his throws (see the video below), Charlie told Mike and Heather that he was “amazed” by my talent. He said he was particularly impressed with my ability to gauge exactly where to release the ball and how hard to fling it to the ground to make it roll to my catcher some 50 feet away. Charlie compared it to a professional golfer lining up a putt. And he was right: It’s all about concentration and touch. Check it out for yourself:
In fact, at dinner on the evening we shot the video, Charlie couldn’t stop gushing about how amazed he was. However, one aspect of his otherwise glowing comments rubbed me the wrong way. He referred to it as my “trick,” and he advised Mike to try to get me on Dave Letterman’s Stupid Pet Tricks.
But that’s selling me short. This is no trick, it’s skill, pure and simple. And I may be just scratching the surface of my potential. Maybe I’ll run off and join the circus. or replace Derek Jeter. I’m a work in progress. Excelsior!