OPINION

Buddy and Osgood

Mark Green
Mark Green

I have previously mentioned our idiot dog, Osgood. The pooch will never win any intelligence contests and is more likely to get eaten than to chew up any opposition. However, he is admirably suited for the function he fulfills, which is that of a lap dog. He is a snuggler deluxe, especially with my wife, who is his official favorite person.

Osgood’s customary position is on the back of the couch, looking across Davis Road toward our neighbors’ houses. Our road is a dead end collection of potholes that is theoretically maintained by the county. Any time someone drives down the road, Osgood will bark ferociously. If he is scolded for it, he will descend into a series of growls which are designed, I suppose, to remind us how tough he is.

Several things will set off Osgood in a big way. If anyone actually starts up our driveway, he sounds the alarm. UPS and FedEx trucks are favorite targets. Wednesday mornings are trash pickup time and he gets a great deal of pleasure giving us a running commentary about that large, noisy vehicle that invades the tranquility of our little neighborhood.

There are seven houses along the road, which is not much more than a quarter-mile long. Since it is a dead-end boulevard, most of the people who drive on it live along it. You cannot “go” anywhere on Davis Road. Thus most of the traffic is familiar to Osgood, and anyone out of the ordinary gets special attention.

All these things serve to add a little color and excitement to the otherwise dull life of a hound whose main function is to snooze with a couple of retirement-age individuals who generally are looking for an excuse to go to bed any time after supper.

The absolute big event of each day, however, is when Buddy comes to visit. When I previously wrote about Osgood back in May of last year, I mentioned a neighborhood pooch whom, for lack of anything better, we called Fred (short for Frederick Altamont Cornwallis Twistleton, Fifth Earl of Ickenham). At that point he was just a stray dog who evidently had decided that Davis Road was going to be his territory and made his way from house to house looking for handouts.

Then for a while the little dog just disappeared and we were afraid something had happened to him, because he was a very lovable little cur. After two or three weeks, however, we noticed that Mike Larson, who lives in the next house to the east, was taking the dog for walks along Davis Road. He had adopted the pooch and given him a home — and a name. He is now Buddy, and he is Osgood’s absolute best friend.

Whenever Osgood spies Buddy and Mike on their daily walks, he goes into a frantic sort of half-bark/half-whine, which is his signal to us that his friend is in sight and he needs to go out NOW. We let him out and he charges lickety-split down the driveway and plays with Buddy for a while. He frequently goes with them on their walk; but when they come back down the road, Buddy and Osgood will head up toward our house.

Osgood’s signal that he wants to come in is to paw the screen door to the carport. When we look out, there will be two small dogs, sitting with their eyes shining upward in eager anticipation. We give them each a treat, then Osgood comes inside to eat his and Buddy heads for home with his. Ah, the good life!