Sonny Bone’O is a friendship magnet. He and I cannot walk anywhere in the neighborhood without someone commenting, what a beautiful Boxer he is. People ask to pet him.  This is a good thing, especially when I’m down in the dumps, missing my old Montana home and friends.

There was plenty of activity at Little Brook Park where I walked Sonny yesterday. All summer, Seattle Parks and Recreation with United Way, are providing free daytime meals for kids and teens, skateboard lessons, soccer, hopscotch and games. I struck up a conversation with a volunteer. “Where are you from?” I asked.

“Great Falls, Montana.” Well, for heaven’s sake. I told him about my Montana home on the Clark Fork River. He had worked twenty years for the Forest Service and knew the area.  “My first girlfriend lived in Thompson Falls,” he told me. We talked about moose on the highway and how neither of us missed driving in the snow. He gave me a heads-up that Animal Control would be at the park during the week to check dog licenses. No problem, Sonny is legal in Seattle.

Later that afternoon, an old fellow in a wheelchair, assured me that I never needed to be afraid when walking at night with my dog; he thought Sonny looked wild. “I can see him running across the African plains,” he said. I guess if you didn’t know that Boxers are goofballs, Sonny might look fierce. But when an eight-week old puppy, Marley, rolled down a grassy slope and tumbled into a heap between Sonny’s legs, he stood patiently, gently perplexed by this unidentified furry object (UFO) beneath him.

A neighbor in my building asked if she could run with Sonny sometimes; her own dog is too old for strenuous exercise and Sonny is so strong. She and I walked together with our dogs and became acquainted. An acupuncture practitioner, she plays Celtic harp as well as the Tibetan singing bowls and listens to Pearl Jam  and Rage Against the Machine.  She told me where to find the best dive bar with nightly live music.

I couldn’t help but admire a 1977 Mercury Grand Marquis parked on a block where Sonny and I walk, deep maroon with matching tuck and roll upholstery, wire wheels. Immaculate.  Not a scratch. An orange construction cone placed next to the car door prevents anyone from carelessly bumping into it, and a club locked to the steering wheel keeps it from being stolen.

One day I saw the owner, a muscular man wearing a white sleeveless undershirt, khaki pants, moustache. “Is that your ride?” I asked him. He nodded.  Yes.

“Nice,” I said.

“Good looking dog,” he replied.

© Janis Monaco Clark