Thursday, July 19, 2007


My paternal biological family lives in Hawa’ii. I was visiting them about five years ago, and among the many, many gifts of aloha I received was bar-none the largest dog collar I have ever seen. Its intended recipient was my boy, Coffee, but he would have to balloon to double his size to fit it.

It is a gorgeous collar. It is leather, with impressions of turtles, or Hōnu, as they are called in Hawaiian, pressed around it. Hōnu are a symbol of luck to the native Hawa’iians.

Perhaps it is a deep-seated psychological dysfunction that makes me associate the leather collars with boy-dogs, but after it didn’t fit Coffee-dog, I just held onto it; I guess I must have been waiting for the right boy to come along. I didn’t try it on Mercy or Trinity when they came. When our foster boys, Clapton and Alistair, came, I tried it on each of them, and although it “fit,” it didn’t seem quite right.

Emmett had been here for about three weeks before I tried it on him. It fit in every sense of the word. Naturally, it was sized just the way I like collars, not big enough to slip over his head, but plenty loose in case it is caught in underbrush. The color, which looked strange against Clapton and Alistair’s black coats, seems tailor-made for Emmett’s dappled merle. As he has worn it in multiple splash-fests into the pond, the collar has darkened and it now takes effort to discern the turtles, but it looks better on him with each passing day. We know the turtles are there, and that seems to be enough.

Somehow, wearing a “lucky” collar suits Emmett. Were he a human, he would religiously purchase Powerball © tickets, fully expecting that his day would come. Until then, he would be happy living with a family who couldn’t afford to get him adequate veterinary care, in a crowded trailer brimming with love, on a farm with room to run and a pond, or any other place he landed.
I have no doubt in my mind that Emmett could love anybody as much as he loves us. But I don’t know that there is any place in the world that would fit quite as well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He is so beautiful and soulful in this picture. I just melt when I see his eyes. What a lover.