Yukon was a hoot!
It takes a lot of trust to give the keys to your shiny new Toyota Tacoma pickup to a complete stranger. However, that pales in comparison to the woman who surrendered her car keys and her eleven-week-old Newfoundland pup to a guy she met only an hour earlier.
Her name was Michelle. Yukon, her big, cuddly, lovable, male Newfoundland pup couldn’t accompany her in the 15-mile canoe race that was about to take place. Why did I almost instantly garner her trust? Perhaps it was because we were both paddlers. More likely it was the fact that the pup trusted me when I went flat on my belly directly in front of him. At first, he just cocked his head in puzzlement. No growl. Then I talked softly to him. He listened. I extended my hand. He put his hand on top of it. We were instant buddies.
It was love at first sight. After the race, with considerable regret, I surrendered the pup to Michelle. “If you’re ever in our area and you need a baby sitter for him for a day - or a week, I’m available.”
Picture this: a 105-pound woman travelling with a dog that can grow to attain a weight of 150 pounds. Fortunately, according to Professor Wiki, ‘Newfies’ have a reputation of being “calm, docile, highly loyal, sweet tempered, easy to train, sweet natured…They are often referred to as the nanny dog.”
A cautionary statement by breeders: “Its size can cause problems if it is not trained.”
I can just hear it: “Put your seat belt on! Wipe your feet before you come in! I told you to not sit on that little chair! Don’t drool! Remember, cool it with the deep bark. People don’t know you’re just being friendly.”
Anyone who doesn’t like dogs is no friend of mine. Actually, some of my best friends are dogs. It’s through dogs I’ve made more friends than any other way. In my 12 years of hitchhiking with Keesha at my side, I’ve been picked up by dozens of women. Actually, it’s Keesha who gets the rides. I just accompany her.