Yes, I know my dog is named Deacon and I am a deacon at my church. I admit it is a little odd, but when Laura and I named him (years before I thought about being a deacon) we had just moved away from our first apartment on Deacon Ave. Not to mention the name means servant, which is what a good dog should be, right? Now that we have that out of the way.
I wanted to give a little “shout-out” to Deacon as the summer winds down. During the summer I start to feel a special bond with our dog since I am around the house all day. For example, on those days when Laura leaves early and I lay in bed for a while longer, Deacon will jump on the bed and burrow next to me. Naps on the couch with Deacon curled up around my feet are a close second. I get to see how his daily goal is to find any bedroom door left open so he can push the covers and pillows around until he has made a little nest for lounging. When you walk in to the room he will look up at you like, “you left the door open?” Then roll over on his back in absolute submission. He has a uncanny ability to find the three square feet with the most cushioning possible.
He will also follow me around watching me do things and tilt his head to the side every once-in-a-while when my actions confuse him. Soon I find myself talking to him and asking him questions. “Would Laura think this is too much mayonnaise for a turkey sandwich?” A few nights ago I had a dream where he talked to me. It wasn’t one of those dreams where he was talking with some familiar voice in a way that makes you think he has had this ability all along and now has decided to confide in you the fact he is vocal. It was more like he was uttering his first words. As if he has understood me for a while, but is now trying to take the next step and say something back. It sounded like a dog would sound if they were trying to make words with their canine vocal chords. When I remembered the dream later in the day, I stared at him for a while reasonably sure it was a dream.
Deacon is my first dog, so I don’t have anything to measure him by except the time I spend with other people’s dogs. He seems to like people as much as I have seen any other dog, craving to be in the presence of anyone with hands. While I admit he can be a little excitable when he sees a person for the first time, the craziness is limited to wagging his tail frantically and sitting as close to the new person as possible–usually on their feet. Unless you are Ben Dunson, this excitment fades in about one minute. He has learned just about every trick I have been able to come up with, but what sets Deacon apart from other dogs is his love affair with a blanket.
The first thing Deacon does when I let him in from being in the yard is make run for his blanket, which he picks up, arranges over his front paws and then sucks on. Yeah, he sucks on it. Sometimes eyes open, other times eyes closed for a full bliss-out. Sometimes you can hear a high pitched wine. We think it stems from the fact that he never spent any time with his mother and had to be bottle-fed.
Deacon’s nemisis is a squirrel. He has the ability to know it is lurking outside without seeing it, and hates it with a white-hot anger not known to humans. I have seen the squirrel look down at him from just out of reach on a tree trunk and taunt him by making wierd noises and flicking its tail. At times like this I will find a rock and throw it at the squirrel for no other reason than to show Deacon some moral support. I believe he appriciates this. One night Laura let him out into the back yard (like we do multiple times every night) and Deacon stumbled upon a opossum on the back porch. Ten seconds later the opossum’s neck was broken and Deacon was staring at Laura unsure of what happened. It is nice to know there is a little terrier somewhere in the pedigree.
There you go. That’s our dog.