May 19, 2014 in Features

The Slice: You can’t put a leash on dog owners’ affection

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Paul Turner photo

The corgis await treats after performing tricks in the yard of Michael and Susan Cain.
(Full-size photo)

We hadn’t gone all that far when Michael Cain realized Mic was struggling to keep up.

The sweet-faced 11 1/2-year-old corgi has been slowing down in recent weeks. But late Thursday afternoon, as Michael and his wife, Susan, walked Mic and two younger corgis in their tidy North Side neighborhood, an outing conceived as a bit of a lark took a turn.

Last week I suggested in print that readers invite me along for a walking-the-dogs stroll. I volunteered to pick up the droppings.

There were offers. I picked the Cains and their pooches in part because I, like Queen Elizabeth, have long been a fan of the strong-willed and hug-me cute corgi.

When I met Mic, Moli and Dylan, Mic’s tinted goggles were the first thing I noticed. He looked like a certain canine World War I flying ace of comics page fame. (He’s recovering from a scratched cornea.)

Michael Cain is a former Navy intelligence officer working on a couple of writing projects. Susan is a nurse practitioner.

So we started off walking. Holding a leash attached to one of these determined herding animals informed me immediately that short legs do not mean a lack of power.

Before long, Mic did his business on a stretch of grass next to the street. I pulled out an orange, plastic newspaper-delivery bag and scooped up the glistening deposit.

But within minutes, it was clear Mic wasn’t doing well. Michael lifted the sturdy dog into his arms and we headed for home.

I had questions, but they could wait. Sometimes the presence of love says it all.

Today’s Slice question: What did you learn about life from a pet?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Check out a few snippets from readers’ dog-walk invites at The Slice blog.


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