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Tales From Dog Town
Marg-Ins 7-7-21

So my daughter, who is currently working as a barista, very often has early morning shifts.

This is notable primarily because during her entire childhood and honestly, into her young adult life, she would have preferred the earth awoke at noon. How we managed to get through her school years with hardly ever arriving late (except the time I was going about 10 mph over the speed limit and got pulled over for my one and only speeding ticket) is a wonder in itself. Most of her jobs have been close to home, too, so she could get up 20 minutes before work and still get there. There was one summer, though, when she worked at the mall and was on the early morning set up shift, often having to be at work at 3:30 a.m.

She learned to drink iced coffees on the way and, yes, even though she was old enough to get up on her own, I must confess that I got up with her to make her iced coffee and make sure she had something to eat.

But now, married and off on her own, she works in Modesto and has worked her share of opening shifts for those that need caffeine to start their day. And she has adapted amazingly well, not really minding a 4 a.m. shift if it means she gets off at 9 or 10 a.m. and has the rest of the day to herself.

On those days when both she and her husband are out the door by 5:30 a.m., it falls to me to stop by their house and take my grand-dog Sonny out for a morning walk. He is a sweetheart, still in his puppyhood but a very big boy for a Corgi. He often takes me for a walk but at least it gets me some good ‘cardio’ minutes on my Fitbit.

Most days our walks are enjoyable but pretty uneventful other than meeting up with people that comment on what a good-looking dog he is and Sonny welcomes all the attention.

He is also very much a water dog; my daughter and her husband outfitted him with a life jacket for a recent trip to the lake and Ally said they hadn’t been in the boat five minutes when he went over the side and was in the water. They got him back in safely; then he just barked at the waves as they broke over the bow.

As much as he loves going in the water, it is a completely different story when you try to give him a cooling spray with the hose. He acts as if you are attacking him and wants nothing to do with it.

He also is a bird dog – any bird flittering in the area draws his immediate attention and if I am not on top of things, I run the risk of having my arm pulled out of the socket when he tries to dash after it.

We follow pretty much the same route when I take him for his walks. He gets so excited when I get to their house because he equates seeing me with going for a nice trot around town.

Every once in a while, Sonny also gets to come to the office with me and then it’s double the fun, as I take both Sonny and Bella – who was Ally’s dog before she moved out and had to leave Bella behind with me – for a walk. Bella is older, smaller and hates being second fiddle so she does her best to stay a few steps ahead of Sonny. All well and good until they start crisscrossing in front of me, each trying to be the leader, getting the leashes in a tangle and me in a tizzy. Anybody that sees us probably thinks I am trying out some new dance moves … really I am just trying not to get tripped up by my canine companions. Hopefully, once Sonny is out of the puppy stage and Bella realizes we’re not in a race, they both settle down and walk together nicely, preferably in a straight line so we don’t take up the whole sidewalk.


Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.