While I am well on my way to being a crazy cat lady, dogs still grab a special place in my heart.
Because my work schedule is rather all over the place, I don't have a dog of my own. It just wouldn't be fair to a canine to have a "mom" who is away at wildly divergent times of the day in the course of a week.
My beloved cat trio - Simon, Garfunkel and Johnny Cash - do all right being home alone, although if I am away too long, they do give me the cold furry shoulder. Temporarily, that is.
Dogs are wonderful creatures and I am grateful to my coworkers who sometimes drop by with their pups for a short visit. The dogs all learn which drawer of my desk contains treats for them and some walk right up and place their nose against the right spot.
Of course they will receive treats, with their human's permission, and many pats and pets. They are wonderful dogs: Roxie Wellens, Silas Jay, Lou Stark and Chaos Harris.
And we here at The Mining Journal are lucky enough to be the starting point for the U.P. 200 Sled Dog race in February which affords us the chance to meet mushers and their dog teams.
Two special pups who have been part of the sled dog scene here were Banshee and Seamus Sirius Hennigan. U.P. 200 mascot Banshee passed away this past August and it will not seem the same when sled dog season rolls around. However, she did a great job training her younger brother to take over as the face of the race.
He's a good, good boy.
Recently I visited my dear friend Jodi Haight down in Delta County and was able to spend some time admiring her dogs, Matilda and Daisy. They are lovely English springer spaniels who reminded me very much of a wonderful dog from my long ago past: My sister's dog, Mork.
Mork came to be my sister's through our friend Gregg Pohlman. One day while hunting, Gregg found Mork tied to a tree, left to die. Gregg was able to break the ropes locking the dog to the tree and gave him some water from the bottle he was carrying. Mork licked Gregg's hand in gratitude and Gregg knew he had to bring him home.
Mork was named such because like the TV character, he liked to put his face down on a chair, instead of sitting on his butt like most creatures, human, canine or feline.
For a few years, Mork and Gregg were boon companions, but then a job transfer sent Gregg to Texas. He asked my sister to take Mork in and she did, of course.
Our whole family came to love Mork - The Orken Dog, as my friend Dess nicknamed him - for his loving heart and the adorable howl that he couldn't seem to stop once it started. He might have stolen a sandwich or two when someone wasn't looking, but Mork was a gentle fellow who loved his people.
My niece, Marga, would babysit for a friend's infant sometimes and Mork would watch with adoring eyes every move that strange hairless creature made. Mork would whimper when the baby's family came by to claim him.
Mork's been gone for 20 years now, but my eyes still tear up when I think about how sweet he was. But that's tempered with the smile that arises when I recall him sitting on my sister's front deck wearing a T-shirt to keep his chain from getting caught in his fur as he did his paces, guarding the house like a good dog would.
My crazy cat lady status is cemented but my dog-loving ways will never change. Dog owners, please pat your pups for me today.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.