Winston & Olive

The other day as I was unloading half of Costco from my car, a black dog rounded the corner of the garage as I walked outside, and we practically collided. We both jumped, I squealed, and we looked at each other rather sheepishly. He wasn’t even a big scary black dog. He was old and gentle.
He surprised me, that loping black lab, then we each went back to the business at hand. Mine, carrying piles of groceries inside to keep the teens’ hunger at bay for another day; his, sniffing around the neighborhood while looking happy.

Charlie is obsessed with my dad’s new brown and white German Shorthair pointer, probably because it’s the closest he gets to having his own dog. When he had a sleepover at Grandma Shirley’s house, Charlie wanted to play with Winston, sleep by Winston, and deconstruct why Winston drinks from the toilet, because that is hilarious when you’re seven and you’re Charlie.

Winston is a good boy, even though Jack doesn’t think so. Jack, who once really liked dogs, is bothered by Winston pushing his wet nose into his space. When I see Winston’s obliviousness to Jack’s dislike, I feel like I am looking at two puppies.

My parents slip sometimes and call Winston ‘Olive.’

It makes me happy. And sad.

Olive is petite and gregarious in my memory. She doesn’t give a fig about many things. She’s simply Olive, a little spotted white pointer with attitude and a deep-seated sweetness.

I’m not sure how this became a dog post, but I’m glad it did.

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