Abi Stories

Abi came to us by way of Sol, my father-in-law.  It seems that someone owed him some money, and managed a barter arrangement in which Sol wound up with the crazy dog, which at the time no one knew to be crazy.  I wanted a dog because I always enjoyed dogs, particularly German shepherds.  Linda wanted a large dog to keep her company while she was home alone, and Sol had absolutely no need of a dog.  So, he gave us Abi, who, except for her little crotchets, was a very good family dog.

I’ve mentioned before how useful a dog could be in making friends with neighbors, but there could also be unforeseen circumstances.

It seemed that Abi had a secret admirer abut whom we knew nothing.  His name was Duke, and he was an unusually large German shepherd who lived on Highwood Avenue, a street running parallel to our own.  Duke was a talented dog who had somehow learned to open doors on his own.  This particular evening, he opened the door of his own house and left, having decided he wanted to visit Abi.

Linda and I spent our late evenings up in our bedroom, watching TV.  It was a large, comfortable room with its own fireplace, which however, we didn’t use too often, as bringing wood up and ashes down was far less appealing than a fire in the bedroom was romantic.  We shared a comfortable double recliner, an ideal piece of furniture for joint, intensive, television watching.  This Saturday evening, while we were as relaxed as two human beings who had lived together for a long time could be, watching late night TV, we suddenly noticed this large dog, a German shepherd,  that we didn’t know, in our bedroom, staring at us.  Duke had opened our downstairs door, which I hadn’t yet locked for the night, and come upstairs to join us and rub muzzles with Abi.  Naturally, Duke had startled us, but after we had recognized him, and a few phone calls later, we met his owner (with coat over nightgown), and he was taken home.  What was surprising about the incident was that Abi had given no sign that Duke, this quite large pooch, had entered our home.  Usually, she absolutely freaked out when anyone came near.  I guess that in this case she had her own reasons.

Dogs need to be walked, and this I did regularly each morning, keeping her on her leather leash.  I thought the leather leash was so much fashionable than any other kind!  Abi needed a sturdy leash because she’d also freak out at any number of things.  She was unpredictable.  A case in point was when an elderly man, the aged and frail grandfather of another family, was taking his constitutional one morning.  As soon as Abi saw him, about a block away, she freaked, barking, leaping and pulling at her leash in an uncontrollable way.  The fashionable, leather leash suddenly snapped, and off went Abi, galumphing in the direction of this poor, old man for all she was worth.  I was terrified.  I had visions of the elderly man bitten, mangled, on the ground, killed by my crazy dog.  However, when Abi got to him, she suddenly stopped, rolled over on her back, and waited to have her belly scratched, which the old gent did willingly.  As mentioned, Abi was unpredictable.


About AlexLevy

Dr. Alex Levy is a retired English teacher who survived World War II and the "Final Solution" by hiding in a Catholic orphanage for girls in Belgium for several years.
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