The dog.

I never in my life had planned to have a small dog, so let me explain how I became in possession of one.

A couple of years ago I had to say goodbye to my best friend, Lucky. He was 17 and his most vigorous, non-self-soiling years were behind him. Lucky, loyal to the end, had seen two husbands come and go:

Putting down your first dog is one of the suckiest thing you’ll ever do. I knew I would get another dog some day, but I wanted to take a break before I got attached to a new one.

Then came Simon.

Robb, a moto pal, said he had a friend who needed to find a home for a Jack Russell Terrier. The son was allergic to the dog and the family had tried a variety of ways to remedy the situation, with no luck. I wasn’t sure if I wanted another dog so soon, let alone a dog so small the local possums could easily strongarm him for his lunch money, but Robb said Simon had a great personality and was at least worth meeting. I met Simon, he charmed me, and we’ve been together now for two years.

I can’t really remember why one fine day I bought a dog backpack for him. It was a little small, but the sunroof kept him from having to be doubled over. Every now and then when he was with me in the car and I had to duck into a store to buy something, I’d put him in the pack.

Ever curious about what animals will tolerate, the next natural progression was to see if he’d sit patiently in the backpack while I rode around on the bicycle. He hardly moved, so his future as a bike passenger seemed promising. The original backpack was too uncomfortable to wear for more than a few minutes, so I dug out an old hiking backpack and made some modifications to it.

Before too long, Simon was associating the backpack with going to fun places. All I had to do was put it on the ground and pat the bag and he’d voluntarily climb in. I took him on bike rides along the bay and he was content to watch the world go by.

So what’s to stop us from taking him on the TAT? Don’t say it’s dangerous because plenty of dogs are killed in car crashes. Even more get run over wandering into traffic. If Simon can prove himself worthy company, then he’s got a spot in the road show.

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