: my nominee for man of the year :

Barbara Walters has her 10 Most Fascinating People. Time has their Person of the Year. But I have Bart — my own nominee for Man of the Year.

The dude is a Wire Fox Terrier with the ears of a rabbit. They stand at attention even when he sleeps. They’re not supposed to, his ears are supposed to fall into a neat three-corner fold. I suppose being on full alert 24/7 makes that impossible. They’re like a satellite dish seeking a signal.

This dog knows more people than I do and, having no setting other than maximum, he’s scared a fair number of them. People grow cautious when they see a dog, even a short one, hurtling toward them. Never mind the wagging tail and gleeful bounce, they think mad dog and rightfully become alarmed.

He’s eleven now, a step slower and losing some hearing, but still wide open. He likes to spend his day chewing his tail. A banana and a toy called Bad Cuz, which is essentially a rubber ball with feet, put him over the moon. I’ve never known a dog who was happier to be alive; he doesn’t know what a down side is. He doesn’t know what ‘sit’ or ‘no’ is, either, but that’s beside the point.

He’s pulled me down stairs, cost me a freaking fortune, frazzled my patience, and been my kind, devoted friend each step of the way. Good times and bad. Moving with me from city to city to city to city and finding it all a grand adventure. He doesn’t notice the gray hairs or the extra pounds, he doesn’t mind if I’ve worn the same sweatpants three days in a row. His joy at the sight of me is boundless.

I haven’t earned that kind of devotion or come to deserve such unflagging loyalty. No one could, but there they are. In exchange, he expects little more than a bowl of kibble and an occasional pat on the head. For that he’ll stay by my side forever. Unless I leave a door open, then all bets are off.

I hope that explains why he’s my Man of the Year. No, the Millennium.

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18 Responses to “: my nominee for man of the year :”

    • publikworks

      He does, he’s so good-natured and eager to please. Just being around something so sociable and outgoing is interesting, to say the least.

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  1. Angie Z.

    I love the “Unless I leave a door open, then all bets are off” line. Sounds like a fella I had growing up. Terriers are such lovable tramps. I always imagine them riding the rails, carrying bandana bags on sticks over their shoulders with squirting flowers stuck in their lapels.

    My Corgi has enormous ears that might be cousins to Bart’s. You are a lucky gal.

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    • publikworks

      I am. And you’re right about the lovable tramps, I can’t tell you how many time he’s taken off. He’s been picked up by Animal Control twice and a couple dozen kind-hearted strangers. Maybe I should pack a bandana for him or equip him with a GPS tracker. He already has the chip implant — that’s come in handy a number of times.

      It’s great to hear from you, Angie. Let’s go vote now.

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  2. Prudy

    I’ve always said you and Old Bart would make a great book! I love reading stories about fabulous pets. Hi Bart.

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  3. suzymarie56

    Oh oh oh he’s lovely! I wholeheartedly support this nomination. Me and my boyfriend can’t wait to get a dog, and if, when we eventually get one, it doesn’t compare to Bart, I don’t know what I’ll do!

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    • publikworks

      When you do get your dog you’ll think it’s the best one ever. Even better than Bart. They’re all wonderful creatures and, if I could, I’d have a dozen of them. What kind are you thinking of adopting — a big dog or a little one?

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      • suzymarie56

        Ah wouldn’t a dozen dogs be delightful if it were at all practical! So much love haha. We’d like a labrador I think so I suppose medium-ish. Neither of us have had dogs as children so we’re super excited!

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        • publikworks

          That’s awesome, suzymarie! Labs are great dogs, they’re so sweet and goofy. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without one. Have you thought of a name yet?

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