Frankie

 

Frankie; 10x20x10 cm., bronze, 2009

Frankie; 10x20x10 cm., bronze, 2009

There are any numbers of ways of acquiring a dog today. The first is going to a pet shop, after due research on pedigree and characteristics, and purchasing one.  An alternative to the pet store – and more adventurous – is the adoption of a dog from the local dog pound or acquiring one after a search on the Internet.  Another way – and this one seems to be the most favored in this area (where most of our dogs work for a living either hunting, guarding vineyards from deer or finding truffle) – is waiting for a puppy from the new litter of a friend’s dog’s.

A more worrisome way of acquiring a dog – especially when you have never been a dog owner – is finding one in front of your studio door. Frankie was still a puppy of undetermined race and future size but easy to determine sweet character. Unlike all the cats I have known, Frankie’s chief goal in life seemed to be, from the very beginning of our acquaintance, to please me. “Unconditional love” is what they call it but as I observed him at work and play, I wondered if the situation wasn’t more complex; after all; didn’t I also enjoy pleasing him?

As far as his education, he seemed to intuit that I had little experience in dog training so he’d invent some of his own tricks until I picked up on them. Some, like his pointing at a bush where a pheasant was hiding, seemed to have been part of his black and white package.

Frankie (peeing)

Frankie (peeing)

Lately I look at dogs when they pass me on the sidewalk…I guess the same way mothers look at babies, by way of comparison. Of the animals I see, Frankie looks most like what I think of as a real “dog”…Maybe because he contains so many different combinations, he is able to speak not only for himself, but for all dogs. The other day, a hunter looked Frankie over and said he didn’t know what in the world he was. But, if he had seen him a few moments later, taking off, sprinting through a field, reappearing in leaps through the blowing grass he would have known: he is pure joy.

Frankie in the wind

Frankie in the wind