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September 28, 2017: Black Dog

I recently got an email entitled “Black Dog.” I opened it and read it. It was a major blast from my past. The senders of the message, the Flyes, wondered if I was the same Alys who so many years ago gave them Black Dog. I replied and said that I was.

The event in question happened in 1980. I was living in Portland, Oregon. I was riding my bicycle and a dog followed me home. I don’t remember where exactly I was riding. I don’t remember where I kept the dog. At the time I’d just broken up with my boyfriend Milt, and I think I was living close to town, in a semi-communal household. I do know that I took Black dog to Milt’s veterinarian, and when he went to take the dog’s temperature, the dog nipped at him and the veterinarian hit him. My sister Eleanor, who was then also living in Portland, said that Milt was a redneck so it was no wonder he had a redneck veterinarian.

The dog was ebullient, energetic, and in good health. I took the dog running with me on a bicycle trail in Southeast Portland, and he nipped at the heels of another runner. In recalling this, I am thinking that perhaps it was another dog that did this – one that had some Doberman in it – but there was no other dog. It must have been the dog that I found that did this.

I knew I could not keep the dog – I was getting ready to move to Alaska. I do not know how I learned about the Flyes. I do know that I took the dog there late at night – I must have had my mustard colored Toyota and someone else drove it to their place, which was out in the country.

That someone else was not Milt. I wish that I had written all this down because suddenly it is all important to me. It could have been my bicycling friend, Dave, but I don’t recall that he could drive. A puzzler, for sure.

The Flyes were delighted to have Black Dog who they renamed Cully, after my last name, Culhane. He lived until 1995, which means he was 15 years old – so he did have a good, long, happy life.

I had not thought at all about this incident until the Flyes reminded me. I think that I most likely put the story out of my mind because I knew the dog then had a very good home.

In 2002 I was living in Butte, Montana and Rainbow followed me to Fairmont Hot Springs. I ditched her, but through a series of events she became ours. And in 2006 we adopted Jenna, who had been abandoned by her people. And in 2013 we acquired Ryder, who someone dumped at a trailhead in Idaho.

Dogs have a way of finding me. I do wonder if there is going to be another one in my future. Hard to say. There does seem to be a pattern here.

Next: 269. 9/29/17: Movement Begets Movement

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