A couple of recent stories for a pair of my favorite clients has churned up warm and fuzzy memories of my dear, departed Spud Nelson. He was my running partner but was an otherwise useless Lab mix that made up for exuberance what he lacked in intelligence.
The first, published in Terrain, offers tips for training with your dog. This gave me the opportunity to dredge up a photo of the two of us running. Look at how happy he is. He was never more joyous and focused than when we were on a run. He inspired me for a dozen years as my running mate. He continues to inspire me as a sole mate.
The second, from the October issue of Catholic Health World, tells the story of useful dogs, training to detect COVID at airports, stadiums and concert venues. I used to refer to Spud Nelson as a useless dog. Whenever a documentary came on TV about the dogs of the Twin Towers or dogs running over suitcases to detect drugs, I would turn to him and say. “Those are Useful Dogs. What do you have to say for yourself?”
He said nothing, just snuggled closer. Which was the perfect answer to my stupid question.