He is still my neighbor’s dog, and my wife and I still watch after him during the days while my neighbor is working. At one point this past year my neighbor thought she was going to move away, and my first thought was about a custody battle. Biggie is not my dog. I must keep telling myself this. Biggie is not my dog. I said over thirty years ago I would never again own a dog, but I find myself longing to keep this one.
Biggie likes small adventures. He has never met a park he didn’t like. And Dog Beach near our home is a place he would visit every day if he could. On our walks each day, he likes to explore wherever his nose is pointed, and that could mean alleys, porches, under bushes, the taco stand across the street, or just about anywhere. One of his favorite adventures is a car ride.
When Biggie and I are alone in the car, he will stand beside me and rest his chin on my right arm as I grip the steering wheel. Sometimes he will lie down in the floorboard and sleep, but whenever we drive by a fast food restaurant, he will instantly come up to let me know we should be stopping there. Somehow he knows every time we drive by one.
When my wife Rachael is with us, Biggie will lie down in her lap for most of the journey (except when we drive by a fast food restaurant) expecting to be petted continuously and endlessly. But sometimes, if we are moving slowly through a back street, she will roll down her window and hold on tightly as he sticks his head outside to feel the wind on his nose. It is at these times I can see him in the passenger side-view mirror with his eyes squinted and his ears flopping in the breeze. I don’t use the word “cute” very often, but there is no word more appropriate than “cute” in this scenario.