No, I’ve not become infatuated with a local waterman, although it’s quite possible that some day I may be swept off my feet by one of these gentle men who call me “ma’am” in that delightful Southern accent. Their manners are impeccable, at least what I’ve seen in the bookstore so far. They have beautifully weathered faces, laugh easily, and I’ve certainly come to appreciate the difficult jobs they do. I’m waiting for the gentleman who recently purchased most of my Louis L’Amour paperbacks to bring me the fresh flounder he promised, another reason I may easily fall under their spell someday.
The love affair I’m telling you about today is between Rupert and Cheeka. Sadly, Rupert seems to have left any memory of his Northern love interest, MacKinley, far behind him. MacKinley is a large, white dog adopted by close friends who quickly became the alpha dog in the relationship, putting Rupert in his place at their first meeting. Something happened along the way, though, because Rupert, an extremely selective eater, became comfortable enough to devour MacKinley’s dog food whenever we visited our friends.
We met Cheeka and her owner on our morning walks on the Island Trail here on the Island, about the only place dogs are allowed. Rupert typically greets any other dog in a rather unfriendly manner. He believes the Island Trail is there for his use alone and he’s not one to welcome company. Cheeka is the kind of dog that Rupert usually barks determinedly at, the kind of dog we've referred to in the past as a “yippy” dog, because when Rupert would bark at such a dog, he’d get a “yippy” bark right back. Cheeka, however, is quiet and subdued. Her owner explained to us that she had been recently adopted and had come from a home where her previous owners were in the process of divorcing, a situation where a lot of “kicking and shoving” had gone on with Cheeka often caught in the middle.
Rupert would instantly transform into a gentleman at the sight of tiny Cheeka approaching us on the Island Trail. He would sit beside us, regarding her as we chatted with Cheeka’s owner, allowing her to pass with never a bark. After several days of this, Rupert would begin whining in excitement when he’d see Cheeka approaching, then start prancing, but would still sit again once she was beside us. Cheeka was not ready for him yet. Somehow he knew this.
This morning we were late going for our walk. We met Cheeka and her owner on the road to the Island Trail. We had to roll our car window down so Rupert could see Cheeka as the whine from the back seat was so loud we couldn’t hear. And as we were chatting with Cheeka’s owners, darling Cheeka put her paws on the side of our car, trying to reach Rupert, “Juliet” courting her “Romeo”.
I’m anxious to see what their next meeting brings.