Wednesday, October 20, 2010
The Dog Tag
A lot of people wear dog tags. Some wear their personal military dog tags and some wear the dog tags of a family member who was in the military and didn't make it home. Others wear designer dog tags as a fashion accessory.
I wear a dog tag around my neck. Now, my dog tag is not my military dog tags, and it's certainly not a fashion accessory. The dog tag I wear is a real dog tag.
I'm always excited and eager when trout season at Blue River rolls around. However, for the last several years my excitement has had the company of a tinge of sadness. The dog tag I wear belonged to the best friend I ever had - my companion dog Smokey.
For a good eight years, Smokey and I spent a lot of time on Blue River. Now, Smokey wasn't the kind of dog that many associate with being an outdoors dog. He was in fact a miniature poodle. But let me assure you, Smokey loved the outdoors and he was always over-excited about getting to go to Blue. When we would pull up to a camping spot, Smokey would jump out the window if I didn't get the door open soon enough. As I unpacked our gear, he would be on one of his expeditions - exploring both high bank, low bank, and then on to the woods.
We spent many a night together, camped out in our tent. We shared the same sleeping bag. We sit on the bank of Blue many an hour, or at least I sit on the bank and Smokey sit in my lap. And, we shared many a can of Beanie Wienies.
I have yet to get another companion dog, and perhaps I never will. Miss Carol has a little dog and she's pretty sweet, but she's definitely Carol's dog. I have taken in some homeless cats since I figure everyone wants a home and a bite to eat on a regular basis. But, I don't know that I can let myself get close to another dog.
I think I'll put the dog tag on my lanyard, and this way whenever I'm on the Blue I can have the memory on the outside of me... instead of the inside of me.