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December 22, 2012

Memories of Mistro

(Continued)

As we were leaving, they handed me a foot-long rawhide imitation bone. My hands were full, so, on an impulse, I handed the bone to Mistro and said, “Here, you carry this.” To my surprise, he took it in his mouth and carried it to the car. Although I tried, I could never get him to repeat that performance. I guess he was just showing off so they would let him go home with me.

Mistro and I were good buddies from the beginning. But he was an escape artist, and it was difficult to enclose him. Several times, he got out and was usually walked home by a neighborhood kid who knew where he lived.

One winter day, I was taking Mistro on his morning walk around the local park. As I encountered a patch of ice, my feet slipped, and I fell flat on my back. I wasn’t hurt, but Mistro thought I was, and he hurried over to take care of me, as dogs do, by licking my face.

A neighbor, who was just entering the park with his dog, saw me fall. He ran toward me, calling out, asking if I was OK. Mistro jumped up and stood between me and the neighbor. His hair stood up, and a low growl came from his throat. I had never seen my dog look so scary.

I yelled to the man that I was OK and to stay back until I got up. I crawled over to a nearby bench and pulled myself to my feet. Mistro relaxed. A crisis had been averted.

On another occasion, Mistro and I were sitting on my porch when the mail carrier came by. As she passed my neighbor’s house, his dog got out and chased her, barking loudly. As she ran away from him, Mistro took off down the steps and chased the dog back home.

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