When I first saw the St. Bernard puppy and two kittens my next door neighbors brought home last summer, I was less than completely thrilled. Thomas was used to having the run of the place, and the new residents next door meant that I would spend all kinds of time teaching Thomas the command “no kitties”, which translated roughly to “stay out of the yard next door even though you see things you want to eat.” But as time passed, I became more and more attached to Butch (pictured above), Doug and Manny.
Butch and Manny are the only ones left now. Doug, a gray cat, was a complete attention whore, and went missing about six weeks ago. Even though we recently spotted Manny, his kitty brother, fighting off an owl attack, I still think Doug simply just found other people to feed and attend to him, and they probably keep him inside (shhh — I really don’t want to talk about other possibilities. Thanks.) Manny is more standoffish than Doug, and so I photograph him less. Butch and I, however, have become bosom buddies. Whenever he sees me pull up in the driveway and he’s outside, he runs over in his dorky, half-grown St. Bernard gallop in the hope I’ll have time to offer affection. And of course, even if I don’t have time, I always offer it anyway.
In return, he allows me to photograph him.
I have a weakness for huge, fluffy, goofy dogs. Newfoundlands and Great Pyrenees are irresistible, and now St. Bernards. Sofa dogs, I call them.
Thomas, of course, has a massive hissy fit when I commune with Butch if he can see me through Sean’s window, which he usually can. He usually gets over it once I come inside and apologize. And then he does the same thing the next time.