This is my new friend Bingo. And yes, that’s really his name-O. Bingo lives in the Officers’ Row housing in the park, in the house next to where my other Navy pal Bella lives (that’s the thin Italian Bella, not the Weimaraner Bella). I envy those dogs, because they don’t just get to take walks in the park, they get to live there, 24/7. They always get first dibs on all the rabbits, cats and rodents that only come out at night. By the time I get there in late afternoon, all I get is a wistful sniff or two.
Bingo literally sneaked up on me one day. I was hot on the scent of a vole or a mole (it’s hard to tell them apart when they’re not right in front of you), my nose burrowed deep into the upper parade ground, when he appeared out of nowhere, nipping at my ears. I barked, he chased. I ran. He chased some more. When we both slowed down for a little stare-down, I realized he was just about my size, a little taller but not as long. He’s still a puppy, not yet a year old. I outweigh him, but not by much, and he may still put on a pound or two, since he’s demonstrated himself a beggar for Mike’s treat pouch (which is fine by me). We’re a good match; take a look for yourself.
We don’t get to see Bingo every day, but sometimes when we walk past his house I can see him and the little Yorkie who lives with him through the window. Bingo would like to come out, but he sits and yearns quietly, while that Yorkie, who even doesn’t like to go out, squeals away like a pig. I don’t know how Bingo puts up with it.
Just past Bingo’s house the other day we also ran into my walking-stick friends, Brooke and Jan, whom we hadn’t seen in a while. They don’t even have a dog, and yet they’re out walking in the park practically every day, always armed with their collapsible walking sticks and Brooke’s plastic bag with dog treats. Their treats are tiny compared to the huge Milk Bones that Mr. UPS throws at me, but Brooke’s treats are chewy and taste great. I get excited whenever I see those walking sticks approaching…even when it’s not them. When it is them, they are as excited to see me as I am to see them. And now that he knows me, Brooke makes me work; I have to pay with at least a good sit and a gentle swipe of his hand before I get my prize.
I guess I’m picky about people and dogs. Some people I instinctively don’t like, seemingly for no reason. I bark at random people on the sidewalk or trail all the time. With others I just wiggle my butt the first time I see them. As far as dogs go, I like playing with dogs my own size, and I know my limit. Whenever I see that neighborhood Great Dane Titan coming my way, for instance, I take as wide a berth around as possible. Mike has told me Titan is friendly and gentle and wants to meet me, but I’m not buying it. For the time being, I’ll stick to Bingo and forgo the squash.