PARTING GLANCES: Wet nosing with Suzuki

Charles Alexander
By | 2018-06-20T13:20:47+00:00 June 20th, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

“Animals can also zero in on clues that we provide without knowing it.” One supposes it’s called, Straydar.

The Grim Reaper in the guise of a mild-mannered tabby named Oscar is making news lately. A visit by him to the bedside of hospice patients is a sure sign the patient has only four hours to live. So far, Oscar’s feline prognosis has proved correct 25 times (but who’s counting?).
On a lighter note, I knew a guy who had a parrot named Bette Mae. Bette Mae said three things with camp inflection: What a dump! Come up, see me, sometime! Get you, Mary!
Curiously, Parrot Bette Mae said these classic movie lines only to gay men (she outed several closet cases).
I also remember years ago at Detroit’s notorious Palais Bar there was a dyke, Drano, who always brought along her poodle, Patsy Belle (a male).
Drano would rack up the pool balls, plop perfumed PB down on the table, pat his manicured derriere, and, one by one, the minature would wet-nose each ball into a pocket (for what it’s worth: I learned to shoot pool at the Palais. Wet-nosing, elsewhere. Unfortunately, no eight balls in any pockets).
My favorite dog story concerns Hector, a fox terrier owned by a Willem Mante, captain of the SS Simaloer, a Dutch freighter docked at Vancouver, British Columbia (my own fox terrier Suzuki was an intelligent companion for 10 feisty, often-disobedient years — on her part, not mine. I saved money by clipping her. It took three nippy, but determined, hours to do so).
Hector liked to “explore” port cities, but one day failed to return from his amorous shore leave. Captain Mante, understandably, was heartbroken but had a tight cargo delivery schedule and couldn’t wait out the truant canine Lothario.
When Hector did return dockside he was seen by three separate crews to board their respective ships, sniff about and disembark. Only when the Yokohama-bound SS Hanley was hours at sea was Hector discovered as a stowaway.
Nineteen days later, as the ship unloaded cargo at Tokyo, Hector became sparky, jumped overboard and swam to a landing craft that was then leaving the dock.
Familiar faces were on board, including Hector’s owner, Captain Mante. Rescued dog and master were united 5,000 choppy miles later!
“What puzzled the overjoyed Mante,” wrote author Dennis Bardens in his 1987 book “Psychic Animals,” “was how the dog knew which vessel to choose at Vancouver.
How did he know the Hanley was Japan-bound? There’s no logical explanation, was all Mante could say. “We can only marvel at the fact that it really happened.”
Once, when my Suzuki got lost (followed by two days of panic on my part and that of my then partner Larry) we got a call. Suzuki was safe but miles away.
“Your terrier hid under our dining table,” said the good Samaritan who rescued her by ID collar tag phone number.
“She wouldn’t budge. She’d come out only when my husband or another man enters,” the caller said. “Never for me or my women friends.”
Scent of course is key (and it goes without saying that guys smell. They physically scent differently than gals. Especially ICON leather types).
According to Jim Lessenberry, director of the locally-based Animal Behavior Institute, “We know that dogs can identify and track to discreet scents emanating from five or more miles away.
“Animals can also zero in on clues that we provide without knowing it.” One supposes it’s called, Straydar.
(Clever Hans, the world-famous Russian ‘counting horse,’ to everyone’s amazement tapped out math answers with his hooves. Turns out the stallion scored 6 x 2 = 12 simply by watching his owner’s subtle facial giveaways.)
To be on the safe side, I keep goldfish. On a DVD aquarium, at that. They don’t kiss, spy on you or smell (just like my sex life of late).

About the Author:

Charles Alexander