I am caring for my next door neighbor’s dog, Dusty, while he is in Spain with his family for the holiday. Joel, as I’ve noted before, plays trombone in the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra. For the first few days Dusty was quite nervous with the change but has since settled in.

Joel gave me very specific instructions on how much and when to feed Dusty and that I was to take him on a three kilometer walk each evening. I included this picture the other day in an email from Dusty to Joel, wherein Dusty assured Joel that I was following Joel’s instructions to the letter.

As it turns out when we’re out walking Dusty causes folks on the street to stop me for conversation. They want to know what Dusty’s name is, how old he is, what breed, and etc. Consequently I’m getting lots of practice speaking Spanish while walking Dusty.

Dusty is about eight months old, so is still as puppy. As such he is a bit excitable and has the puppy characteristic of not minding well, though I have made progress on the two most important commands, sit and stay. I’ve got him so he will sit and stay until I’ve put the food in his bowl and told him OK.

The other evening Dusty was out on the patio, being the rambunctious puppy that he is, and stuck his head under a plant stand to get one of his toys. When he went to pull his head out he hit it fairly hard on the plant stand and let out a series of the most pitiful little cries I think I’ve ever heard, kind of like the mews of a very young kitten. After a couple minutes of consolation he was as good as new.

Dusty is a very sweet little guy but none-the-less reminds me of why I years ago gave up on keeping dogs.


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