I broke out of detention yesterday. For the first time in two months, I put myself in the car, turned on the ignition, and drove away from the house on my own recognizance. I didn’t go far—three miles only, from our house in Bellevue to my daughter’s home in Redmond—where my grandson, his dogs, and I all went for a socially-distanced walk together in the school yard across the street from their house.
Colt and I didn’t exactly maintain the six-foot mandated-distance requirement at all times since it was usually more than that. At fourteen, he’s probably three inches shorter than my six-foot one, but his 37-inch inseam is three inches longer than my 34. Although we may have taken the same number of steps, after ten paces or so, he was ten feet in front of me. He’s built like my brothers which is to say, all leg.
When I took Bill to his first Busk family reunion back in 1986, he looked around the gathering and decided everyone looked so much alike that he couldn’t tell any of us apart. He told me later that “Busks are like golden retrievers—they breed true.” And looking at long-legged Colt cavorting with his relatively recently adopted rescue dog, Apollo, I was reminded of my three long-legged brothers.
You may remember more than a year ago, I wrote about my daughter and Colt losing their Stormy Girl to melanoma. It was a good six months before a new rescue dog came into their lives by way of NOAH. Storm was an Irish Wolfhound. As for Apollo? He’s a tan Canardly. What’s a Carnradly? you ask. That word came into our lives several several decades ago when we asked our vet at the time, the late Dr. Hughes from Animal Hospital of Factoria, about the breeding background of our newly adopted pound puppy. Dr. Eighty Bucks, as we nicknamed Dr. Hughes—that’s what he always charge, eighty bucks—looked at Boney and said, “He’s a Black and Tan Canardly.” “What’s that?” I asked, thinking we had lucked into some kind of rare English breed. “Well,” he explained, “you can hardly tell what kind of dog he is, but I think he’s half Irish Wolfhound and half German Shepherd.”
Apollo seems to have the same mysterious background, although his forebears probably have more to do with a boxer/shepherd mix than anything else. There may even be a hint of greyhound, because when he flattens himself out at a dead run chasing after Colt, his top speed looks more like mach one! But he’s also a very lucky dog, one who found a forever home with people who love him.
While Colt and Apollo ran, I was put in charge of Snowflake, their fifteen year-old golden retriever, another lucky dog who was rescued from a puppy more than ten years ago. At this point, Snowflake is pretty much stone deaf and blind besides, but her nose works just fine. She could follow Colt and Apollo’s scents and movements and would go meandering off after them. When I tried calling her back, she kept right on walking, paying about as much attention to my calling her as if I’d been your basic telephone pole. I finally had to put her on a leash.
When our walk was over and the dogs were safely back in the yard, I handed over some goodies—some ink-jet packets from Grandpa for Colt’s printer and a blueberry pudding cake and some raspberries from me. Colt grabbed the cake and took off like a shot. He may have waited until he got into the house to open the cake container, but I doubt it.
Colt is fourteen. He’s supposed to graduate from eighth grade next month. That’s not going to happen, but we’re going to celebrate the event anyway, probably over food eaten by sitting six feet apart on our back porch. His mother is a single mom who works long hours. Colt has been home on his own, day in and day out, since the middle of March. Not surprisingly, he’s worried about graduating and working on his homework. He’s also lonely and a bit dejected at this point—no school, no youth group, no bowling. I hope my visit brightened his day.
I know it brightened mine. We were outside. I didn’t wear a mask, but you can be sure that when I came home, I washed my hands!
Now I’m back in detention—until next time.