Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.
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18 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 9.16 THE BIT JUST SAYIN' Terms of Endearment By Jack Welch Just saying yes after a firm no. I never was a dog guy and I won't go into why except to say that I'm not a fan of saliva. So when my wife told me she had con- sented to bring a four-year-old Boston terrier from the Kentucky Humane Society into our home for a week stay, I wasn't real enthused. The dog, named Duchess, had worn down her owner, an older woman who pleaded with the society to remove the hyperactive pet from her care. Our family (minus me) would note Duchess' better qualities and lovable tics and then appear with her on a local TV adoption special, where some caller was sure to want her. Not. Long story short: My wife and daughter bonded with the dog and lobbied me toward OKing the adoption. I'm sure there are hun- dreds of volunteer sequences just like this. I felt I had to put the foot down, and did so, by golly, for a full day before acquiescing the next. If only both of them hadn't had animal-dan- der allergies, which made my lap the lone one Duchess would be allowed to jump on with her skinny little stick legs. And let me tell you, that dog was the jump-on-lap/jump-off- lap, antsy champion of all time — never quite ready to relax. I wouldn't call her affection- ate, but she liked being among people. Big groups were a joy to her. Nobody (except her two adopters, who had stiff-arms at the ready when she approached) was safe to sit in a chair without that dog — like a fidgety bird flying from branch to branch — pouncing at every open-lap opportunity. I wouldn't put that down as a lovable tic and neither did our houseguests. But Duchess had one great skill and overriding desire: handling a basketball. With her stubby snout she was able to drive regulation-size balls around and across our backyard as if they were attached to her face. A mile a minute. Relentless. Indefatiga- ble. Immensely entertaining for all witnesses. From time to time she'd get that snout under a ball and toss it high in the air. God, I loved that dog — her disregard of all sentimental convention, her maniacal personality. About a week before Duchess died nearly a decade ago, she and I spent about seven hours on Christmas Eve in an emergency animal hospital. We knew each other very well by then. She'd slowed down a lot and could stare into my eyes. I buried her on the coldest day of the winter; the ground under a bed of white-pine needles was like concrete. It took awhile to get the hole deep enough. I was a ball of sweat in -3 degrees. It felt good to have worked so hard for her. bellarmine.edu/womenscouncil b e l l a r m i n e . e d u / w o m e n s c o u n c i l onefamilymd.com Tracy Ragland, MD 6225 W Hwy 146 Suite 1 Crestwood, KY 40014 (502) 558-6202 Blending the Benefits of Old Fashioned Medicine and Modern Healthcare www.onefamilymd.com Internal Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Medicine Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, and Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Direct Primary Care