Suburban scene. From the bedroom where I was watching The Gilmore Girls, I heard the historian answer the door, then little snatches of conversation. With girls, it sounded like.
"Bruiser's a great dog, too, but a little more rambunctious," he said. Then a little more back and forth; then the door closing.
"I hope that was all right," he said to me, standing in the bedroom door.
"What?" I said, meaning, "you hope what was all right?"
"I just let two girls--they were about 10 or 11--take Betty for a walk. They said they walk dogs, or bathe them, or pick up poop."
I paused, then said, "I think it'll be fine." Both Bruiser and the historian watched from their respective perches to see if I was right.
Fifteen minutes later, the two girls returned. A little rush of air and excitement when they came back in. Bruiser leapt to his feet from the bed where he was helping me keep track of the plot of The Gilmore Girls, what with all the coming, the going, and the walking of dogs (but not him). The girls reported that Betty was "sweet" and that she "mosied along." This time, I arose from my television watching posture to meet them.
"I grew up with big dogs!" the more garrulous of them exclaimed. "I've walked Great Danes, Rottweilers, boxers, . . ."
"Well, then, if you've walked those kinds of dogs, you can definitely walk Bruiser," I said. They agreed. They're coming back next Tuesday, they said, at 6:45 p.m., to take Betty on another walk, for 30 minutes this time. (We paid them $2 each for today's trial walk.) In a couple of weeks, they said they'd try taking Bruiser out for a spin. Maybe when it gets warm, we'll pay them to give baths to our big dogs (one of them a very, very furry big dog).
Signifying Bruiser. I often think Bruiser would talk to me if he could. He seems to have quite a bit to say. He hardly every uses his words, though. Bruiser communicates through the manipulation of objects. For instance, when he's hungry, he picks up his food bowl, which is metal, carries it a short distance, then drops it on the floor with a clatter. Then he looks up at you. As if to say, "Do you get it now? Do I need to spell it out for you?" If the water bowl's empty, he spins it. I'm pretty sure he would have a lot to say about, say, who the Democrats should nominate for their Presidential candidate, or what we should do about Iraq. He just doesn't have an appropriate object to manipulate.