Pine Nuts: We’re going to the dogs and that’s a good thing |

Pine Nuts: We’re going to the dogs and that’s a good thing

The world is going to the dogs and that’s a good thing. There are more dogs in San Francisco today than people. Emperor Norton himself had two dogs, Lazarus and Bummer. When Laz and Bum expired they were regally stuffed by a taxidermist to become a popular display above the swinging doors of a swinging downtown saloon. I don’t know if our little village of Incline has more dogs than people, but if not, we’re gaining on it. I know a good many dogs by their first names, because I carry milk bone treats with me everywhere I go, and from Daisy to Georgia, they all come running.

Dogs are in possession of attributes that we humans should copy and recapture as we emerge from this infernal pandemic, for they are easy-going, spontaneous, curious, playful and loveable. Their joy of life is contagious. And they are caring too. I remember a touching moment on the Island of Maui when I was doing sit-ups on the floor, and upon being seized by a stomach cramp, I started moaning. My dog, Digger, came over and started licking my face. Dogs do show compassion, sympathy and sorrow. We don’t call them “therapy dogs” for nothing.

They are truly wonderous creatures. They can, on occasion, even demonstrate aloofness.

As Will Rogers reminds us, “If you get to thinking you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.”

I love this sign I saw in the oldest tavern in Nevada: LOST DOG: 3 legs, blind in one eye, missing right ear, tail broken, recently castrated -answers to the name of “Lucky.” We can all learn from Lucky.

Literature is full of wonder dogs, as are films, and I’ll bet, if you are as old as Smokey Bear, you can recognize the names of these loveable mutts: Toto, Lassie, Jip, Fang, Lorelei, Snowy, Pongo, and let us not forget Jack London’s Buck and Peter Pan’s Nana.

The creator of Peanuts, Charles Schulz, observed, “All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.”

One of the most complimentary tributes I have ever read involves a dog: “He would go a long way out of his path to help a lame dog over a stile.”

George Carlin asks us, “What do dogs do on their day off? Can’t lie around — that’s their job.”

Agnes Turnbull assures us, “Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.”

But my favorite might come from C. J. Frick: “Be the person your dog thinks you are.”

Well, I shall leave the last word here to Mark Twain as I am prone to do … Mark Twain offers us some advice on getting into heaven that we might find handy someday, “Don’t take your dog. Heaven goes by favor, if it went by merit your dog would go in and you would stay out.”


Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Loading comments...