September 5, 2018: I started this bio 10 months ago. I haven’t had time to edit it or even take a second look. Please excuse the dust of my construction site. LOL
8 years ago, someone tied a very cute (and energetic) little dog to the front door of Friends of Strays, and left him there all night. This is the curious, rambunctious, daring, sometimes abstinent, loving, adoring, playful, and loyal dog that later became known as Bolt. Our similar personalities have made for an instant bond, that can never be broken.
I am asked all the time, “why the name Bolt??” Telling you this story will only strengthen the above list of character traits. At the time, I was living on very busy street in downtown St. Petersburg, FL. On his arrival, he vigorously sniffed every corner of his new home, tried to sneak peak a look into my garbage can, got a drink of water, then sat in the middle looking cute as he could – as if to ask “what now?” I really had no idea. He was the first pet I had ever brought home. I gave him a little treat, left over from breakfast (Bacon thereafter has become his life long mission) and told him to stay.Does he even know what that means?? He isn’t moving, maybe he does…
“Stay!” is say louder and more confidently. Had to establish that I was head of the household. I make the rules. I left a slight crack in the door, when I went to get all his new stuff. As a lot of first time pet owners probably do, I bought 2 of everything that I could imagine he would need. With my arms full and hands going numb from hanging plastic bags, I see a flash of brown run down the street. I drop everything and run as fast as I can.
Damn he is fast. And damn i’m out of shape.
I’m just yelling “HEY DOG! STOP!!” Geez, about to loose the guy and I haven’t even named him yet. He looks back at me a block and a half down the road, while if full stride. Maybe I was just really tired, but I could have sworn he gave me devilish smile, while his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth, that taunted “I heard you the first time, dude, but I don’t take orders. Good luck catching me.” Of course, after spending time with him, I realize that was probably EXACTLY what he was thinking. Finally, after a 4 block sprint and almost falling out, I caught him. “You got me this time, but will never bolt out the door on me like that again, dude.”
I don’t think I mentioned, above, that he is smart. Sometimes smarter than me. We lived in a townhouse with a long hallway. I had just put out a lovely spread of cuban pork tenderloin leftovers with a few savory sides. He came over and nudged my hand to get he head rubbed – he knew (he has since gotten a little spoiled) not to beg. I saw him side glance my food.
OH NO you don’t. Don’t even look at it. This is daddy’s food…
He gave me a snarky look and walked off. Few minutes later, he is at the front door and barking wildly. Viciously. He wouldn’t stop. I walk down the long hallway, look through the peep hole – expecting an angry mob – and there is nothing. Not a single thing moving outside. As I’m turning around,
What in the world are you barking at out ther……..
There he was. Front feet up on the coffee table, little head reached out as far as he could, watching me, with the last piece of my delicious tender pork half hanging out of his mouth. That little son of a…
Too late. It was gone. I looked at him and said, “You know, I can’t even be mad at you. You really got my ass on that one!” He just looked at me. Then licked his cute little lips. I’m ashamed to say, that wasn’t the last time that he has gotten over on me.
I could have done a better job at training him, I’m sure. But after all these years, we have a way of communicating. I expect him to push the boundries – tuck his ears back when he understands me but doesn’t like what I’m saying – but knows my tone of voice well enough that he almost always listens when it’s important. I know that he, like his daddy, gets distracted by a dozen things at any minute and will sometimes wander a little further than he should. But has never gotten too far away before realizing it, and coming right back where he belongs.
He also has a fantastic capacity for empathy. For myself, my partner, or a friend. When he senses that someone is sad, he will curl in their lap and just be there. When he knows someone is upset, he will grab the nearest toy and try to get them to play. If someone is startled or distressed, he is on point ready to protect. There have been times when I was in horrible depressions, in the early years of being diagnosed bipolar, that he didn’t leave the bed unless I did, and followed his daddy to be sure he was okay. And when my mood was too high, and I didn’t want to sleep, he would go upstairs and give me dirty looks until I laid down. Perhaps some of this is the characterization of a loving pet owner – but many have noted how sensitive, in tune, expressive he can be.
Bolt has really been the star of this show. He loves the attention and no matter where we are, he attracts a crowd. He has been by my side almost every minute of this journey. I couldn’t imagine this journey any other way, than him next to me, watching the road ahead, as excited about the next adventure as I am.