I normally post my photographs with a few words of explanation or comment. Today I’m doing the opposite, emphasizing words not image, because I want to tell you about why we’ve got these two silly dogs made out of old newspapers. These new, already toilet trained, pets are named Artie and Bad Dog and we bought them in the gift shop of the Boston Museum of Fine Art.
Way back, when we were married to others we both had a series of golden retrievers. Lovely friendly creatures, though not overly bright, who liked nothing more than rolling in and bringing home the most filthy things they could find. Both of us loved those big critters but starting a new life together that involved running an antique shop AND an art gallery didn’t seem to leave much space in our lives to own one.
After our marriage, we got a 5-year-old tabby rescue cat named Dennis. Again not too smart and frightened of most everything but a loving animal none the less, who would sit on our laps, purring loudly and happily digging his claws into our flesh as a painful expression of his friendship. In the morning, about 4am, after sleeping in on or on our bed, Dennis would arise and gently bat my face, concentrating on my eyes, until I couldn’t stand it any more. I would then either fire him off the bed and try, mostly unsuccessfully, to go back to sleep or, more often, drag myself downstairs to feed him and let him go outside.
When we moved to Boston from Maine into a small city condo, it was painfully obvious that we couldn’t take Dennis with us. He was a country cat and although he never really strayed very far from our front door, not having free access to the outdoors would be cruel on him. Not only that but just driving him for the 3 1/2 hours it took to get to our new place would most likely kill him. He hated driving in a car. When we took him to be boarded some times, he would yowl steadily the minute the car started to move and in addition to the noise, all his bodily functions would generally let go about 5 miles down the road. Dennis, to put it mildly, became a psychotic mess whenever we drove him anywhere. It broke our hearts to leave him behind but we put him up for adoption with a lady who ran a cat hotel and after a few false starts she found him a nice new home.
So we now find ourselves happily settling into Boston with its slippery bricks, marijuana peddlers in the park and a very old subway system that works most of the time and is a real bargain if you’re going somewhere it goes. Yes, we’ve had to downsize like crazy and give up a lot of things we really had grown fond of but that’s the price you pay for easy access to urban amenities like fine art museums, world-class medical care and great restaurants.
But we had no pets to keep us company and we missed that. Which brings me back to Artie and Bad Dog. We got Artie first because I guess he was taller and seemed rather lonely. Artie did fine for a while but a few weeks after he arrived we were back in the museum having a cup of coffee next door to the gift shop and we could see Bad Dog sitting all fuzzy and friendly through the window. I tried to ignore him at first, but in the end it didn’t work and he also came home with us to keep Artie company.