Like T.S. Eliot’s cats, many dogs also have a secret name. Oh, not all dogs, mind you,  but certainly the ones who are poets at heart, have the soul of of an adventurer, and are ever alert to the first sign of danger to to their realm, and those they feel feel called upon to defend. Not because they have been bred to do so, but because it is part and parcel of who they are.

Such dogs are the only living remnant of the Knights Templar.


Dublin, a cross between a Terrier and Welsh Corgi (or at least this was the best our vet could figure out) was such a noble creature. Yet another of the dogs we rescued from abusive homes over the years – his owners literally threw him outdoors to hunt and kill his own food, in the middle of the city. He came to live with us in the late 1990s.

He took to living with us like a fish to water. He loved our home, the other dogs, and was fascinated by the cats. He also, of course, loved getting fed on a regular basis.


There was only one thing he didn’t cotton to: me.

This could be understood that at least partially because most of the dogs we had rescued over the years had been abused my men. Men who knew how to use their feet, and hands, and voices to frighten dogs. As I cannot abide anyone who abuses a child, I have just as much intolerance for anyone who abuses an animal.


No matter what I tried, I could not get Dublin to approach me, yet he would sit and stare at me sometimes as if he expected something from me, something I was ill-equipped to provide.

Dublin had been with us for about a month or so when Tracy needed to make a visit to her mother in Elk City, Oklahoma – the very heart of the Forbidden Zone – and we brought our three dogs with us.

As usual, Dublin was acting like I was just some guy who happened to be tagging along.

A funny thing happened when we got to the house, and the dogs were running around, exploring. I was in the guest room, unpacking a suitcase and Dublin appeared in the doorway. We looked at each other, an entire world between us.


As if without thought, the words slipped out, “Come on up, Dubbly-Wubbly.”

Suddenly, as if they had never been there, the barriers between us evaporated; Dublin threw himself upon the bed and sat with me, wagging his tale.

I had discovered his Secret Name, or perhaps he had let me know it. Who knows?

We were fast friends from day forth.

Dublin never forgot the days when he had been obliged to go hunting for his daily bread. Forever chasing invaders to our backyard with intent to commit foul bodily harm, he actually managed to bring down and kill a rabbit one day, depositing the head on Tracy’s pillow with no small display of pride.

I never found the rest of the rabbit, though I have long suspected what happened to it.

One night we were watching “Those Calloways”  – an under-appreciated Disney movie. The Brian Keith character is attempting to establish a sanctuary for wild geese, and every time geese could be seen flying overhead on the TV screen, Dublin sat intently watching on the couch, the intent of his gaze only too clear.

I’ve got your geese sanctuary right here, boys.

Dublin’s transition from family dog to my dog came around 2006, when I spent about a week in ICU. When I returned home, and the safety of my own bed, Dublin literally wrapped his legs and paws around one of my legs for two nights running, as if to make sure I wasn’t about to pull another vanishing act.


Since that time, where ever I went in the house, Dublin went with me.

But sometimes paths diverge, and ours did when he began to show the awful signs of dementia. We held on for a while,through the marvels of modern medicine, but there comes a time when your friend just isn’t there any more, to all intents and purposes.

I had an entire section written here about that fateful trip to the vet, but, as ever, I have deleted it. This is personal, and most of us have our own such experiences.

And besides, that isn’t how I remember him. He was the fastest of all our dogs – even faster than the fabled Action Dog – and loyal to a fault.

He was brave, and protected our home from who knows how many monsters that we never knew about.

He often seemed to be smiling as he ran furiously to the door, and today, for some reason I cannot fathom, even though he has been gone for three years now, I am missing him terribly.


Today’s Soundtrack

Inspired today by Nancy Cooper Maier and her CD “Love Again” this morning.


Now on YouTube: CNN’s Bob Losure

One of my favourite interviews, conducted in 2000, with Bob Losure, former anchor at CNN.

CNN’s Bob Losure: The Interview


Quote of the Day

Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation. – Graham Greene