I’ve given away most of my space in this week’s Letter.
“I’ve had my say on the dogs you and I have shared,” I said to my husband, Bay Weekly co-founder Bill Lambrecht. “Now it’s your turn.”
Bill took the assignment, but his storytelling reflects his day job: 30 years of reporting on D.C. capitol doings.
Read on and you’ll see why he titled his story Capitol Leaks.
I suspected growing up that your dog reads your mind. Now that more dogs have entered (and, alas, exited) my life, I know it’s true.
Back in Illinois, there was Slip Mahoney, the roving German beagle, apprehended and jailed seven times (once at a Kroger meat counter.) Mornings, Sandra, editor of this paper, would head off in her silver Gremlin to her newspaper job in downtown Springfield.
My consuming thought: How to secure the house to prevent canine escape.
Slip, of course, would have caught that brain wave, exited through an unlatched door (or right through the screen), and begun weaving his way through traffic on a Gremlin-sniffing mission.
In Maryland, there was Max the yellow Lab, formerly employed as Bay Weekly Office Greeter. On his days off, we’d go fishing in the old Sundancer, in Borg-perfect sync. He’d get excited as me spotting a bluefish feeding frenzy. One day, after a tip about “acres and acres of huge breaking rockfish,” he shared my nagging sense I’d forgotten something.
He whined nervously as we raced to the slip. Then he stayed in the car, forlornly, while I discovered on the boat I’d left the rods on the patio. (I’m hangdog myself at this moment recalling that today is the anniversary of Max’s death.)
Then came Moe the yellow Lab, who held down at least three jobs. At Bay Weekly, he was sidekick to Nipper the Notorious (a Jack Russell who owns the Maryland state record for biting humans).
On Capitol Hill, Moe was my security detail. (I’m speaking here about protection from members of Congress.)
There too, Moe was ambassador-at-large. Around our condo, he’d buddy up to senators’ poodles and wrestle in Stanton Park with young female aides who’d kick off their heels. All the while, he’d stay plugged into my thinking, like that morning during the October 2013 government shutdown when we walked along the south side of the Capitol building.
I can’t believe those zealots in there would shut down the United States government, I’m thinking.
Moe, leash-less but usually well behaved, big-nosed his way through azaleas and lifted his leg on the limestone of the U.S. Capitol.
He plowed back through the bushes, looked up at me smiling and communicated a question: Whaddaya think of that?
I petted him, wrote Bill.
Empathy. That’s the emotional partnership shared by the man who, whenever he needed a friend, got a dog.
Turn the page for more stories and news of the four-legged friends who love us unconditionally — in their own complex ways.
Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; email@example.com