Ruthie commented that Zumm is “my kinda dog.” Very perceptive considering how little I have written about him. I must admit that he is my kinda dog, too.
Phonetically it is pronounced ZOOM.
In any event, therein is a life lesson for all of us. Just when I thought that I had forever more established an emotional distance from dogs, I fall for one. You will recall that I said that I chose not to cohabit with animals, particularly dogs. I made fun of other folks' dumb dogs and their inability to put the damned dog down when the dog clearly ought to be put down. Very cynical stuff like that.
Suddenly, I was cohabiting with a dog for several days, a dog that is getting on in years just like I am. Before I had really thought about it, I was doing all that dog crap again. Feeding him and mixing his little thyroid pill in with his food. Brushing him with a brush that I myself purchased because I thought it would work better, his hair flying all around me. Cleaning up his shit in the courtyard. Playing ball with him like a kid. Petting him and praising him.
Taking walks with him and admiring his Hemingwayesque grace under pressure when confronted with those aggressive Mexican dogs. So calm. He may be old, but he could still tear their asses up one at a time. He knows it, and they know it. He reminds me of Jack London's Buck.
Then I found myself chatting with him--chatting with him, mind you! Zumm is bilingual, by the way.
He started to sleep on my feet while I was typing on this laptop. He started to sit with his head on my lap while I watched American movies with Spanish subtitles on the television to which I then had access. The son of bitch seduced me.
So let this be a lesson. When you have become confident that you have successfully distanced yourself from the things in life that trick you up, that is overconfidence. That is precisely the time when you must become the most relentlessly self-vigilant. It could be drugs. It could be liquor. It could be women. It could be dogs. Whereinsoever your little soft spot lies.
Later's and let's be careful out there. . . . as Four Dinners is wont to say.