Tuesday, August 30, 2016

My buddy, Howie

I remember the first time I met Howie.  My youngest daughter, Katie, and her husband, Josh, had been thinking about getting a dog.  Katie wanted to get a rescue dog and located a shelter to visit. While working at church one afternoon I got a call from Katie.  She wanted to know if I'd like to meet the new addition to her family. How could I say no?

The dog was filthy and very afraid, shaking.  I wondered if it had been abused in some way.  We asked Katie what kind of breed the dog was.  She said the shelter thought he had some chow in him. Connie speculated that there might be some terrier in the mix.  I asked, "Do you have a name?" Katie did.  "His name is Howie."

Every Sunday after church the family would gather at our house for dinner.  Howie came along.  He soon became very comfortable around our house.  We were comfortable with him, all of us except our cat, Hope.  Hope was not crazy about other animals taking up residence on her property.  But after awhile even Hope learned to tolerate Howie.

When the Cardinals played the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl, like most Americans, we had a party.  The game was nerve-wracking and to break the tension, I decided to teach Howie how to sit up. What dog doesn't sit up? Every time Howie made a good effort he got a dog bone.  By the third quarter he was sitting up like a champion.  Straight back.  Paw out to shake hands.  He ate most of the bowl of dog treats that day.  The Cardinals lost but Howie won!

Two years ago my daughter's family moved to Wisconsin.  I miss them all - including Howie.  So visiting there on vacation is a real treat.  Howie and I go for long walks.  He can count on me for a dog treat (or three!).  The picture above is one of my favorites.  Howie seems really pleased to see me again.

I know I was.