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Ask Susie

Harry Susie

From the SPA

By Harry Burrus

I’m dog walking with Mike, a volunteer who comes twice a year to walk our SPA dogs. We’re discussing films and theater. I mention how a particular film and its main actress contain similar elements to A Street Car Named Desire. Neither one of us can think of the actress’s name. I start going through the alphabet. No luck. I know the name, but I’m blanking, something that seems to be happening with greater frequency. Yikes!

My next walk is with Susie. She performs an adorable side-to-side two-step move with her front paws when she sees me approaching. I’ve been walking Susie since August of 2011. I hug her. Massage her back and thighs. We’re off. I find her face lovely despite several facial scars, souvenirs of her life prior to the SPA. We’re walking up a hill, the sun is to our left, our shadows to the right. I mention my memory hiatus and how Freud uses talking as a cure when dealing with cognitive issues. Susie stops. Gives me a “what gives?” look. I explain. As soon as I finish, she blinks, and I say, “Cate Blanchett.” Cool. We continue our climb.

I love my time with Susie and the SPA dogs. In addition to being with such wonderful creatures who are so into you and appreciative, I find when walking with them I’m open to all kinds of ideas—there’s a free flowing exchange that weaves its way into my mind-set; tributaries are explored. Good thoughts accumulate. I’m stimulated. I decide to test Susie. I want to mention an English playwright to Mike, but again, I’m lapsing. Geez. I sit on a rock and rub Susie’s ears, neck, and back. Her eyes tunnel into me. “Okay, he’s English. First studied acting. Wrote poetry. Became famous in the 1950s as a playwright.” I must say I have confidence in Susie. She’s a Lab mix and is descended from a long German line. Her great-great grandfather was Herrmann Von Walter, so the question dealing with the past shouldn’t be a concern. I rub Susie’s forehead. She licks my nose. I say, “Harold Pinter.”

On behalf of Susie and all our dogs, cats, kittens, and puppies, please donate to the Pet Food Money Bank in July, when donations will be matched up to US$1,500. All money raised will be applied to the annual cost of feeding our resident animals (about 100 cats and dogs, waiting to be adopted). Details are here: welcome your visit to the SPA at Los Pinos 7, 152 6124, Monday-Saturday, 11am–2pm.


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