In my short story “Care and Rehabilitation,” Ira has a Saint Bernard mix named–to his great embarrassment–Lady Gaga. Gaga rescues a baby dove, and that’s how Ira meets up with his former student, Caleb.
I love Saint Bernards. We had one named Otis when I was a little kid:
A year before my daughter was born, we brought home a second Saint named Ruthie. (They were named after Supreme Court Justices.) Ruthie was goofy and silly and didn’t have a mean bone in her 140-pound body. Ruthie loved the world. Her biggest goal was to be a tourist attraction. She was great with my daughter too, and later with the second kid.
Of course, sometimes it was pretty clear why children were so attractive to the dogs:
There are some downsides to Saints. Here are the results of a few minutes of brushing:
Billie lived to be 13, which is really old for a Saint, and Ruthie lived to 11. I’ve been dogless for a while now; my travel schedule makes pet ownership difficult. But Saints will always have a special place in my heart–and will probably show up in my stories now and then.
Next week: Old photos