Just got off the phone with Robby, in L.A. He called to wish Ricky a happy birthday. I put the phone on speaker, and Robby sang. Ricky had been snoozing on the playroom couch, and he kept right on snoringduring Robby’s “Happy Birthday to You” — but toward the end, he opened his eyes, lifted his head, and licked the phone. Then he went back to sleep. Robby told me that for Ricky’s birthday I should post about the day we picked him up as a puppy in Templeton, MA. I already have some stuff I want to write about for today, but I’ll get back to Robby’s thought in the near future: It’s a nice story, and I’m always happy when someone gives me an idea for a post. Btw, I’ll be picking up Robby at JFK late Thursday night when he’s finished with finals, and you can be sure I’ll have a little creature along with me in the car. Going to be a lot of smooching and tail-wagging that night!
Carol and I caught a glimpse of Ricky as “theolder dog” on Sunday, when we drove over to meet Archie, the new frisky little Golden Retriever pup belonging to our friends Rick and Susan. (Little? He’s already taller than Ricky!) Is there anything more fun than watching two dogs frolic — especially when one of them is the Energizer puppy and the other seems to be wondering when this young whippersnapper is gonna run out of steam and leave him in peace? I was pretty proud of how patient my beagle was with this furry wind-up toy — especially when the new dog on the block was biting Ricky’s tail. (Note to Archie: That’s something to work on . . .) What a role reversal! I so clearly remember when we went up to Boston to visit our friends Lang and Marilyn with Ricky, back when he was the upstart pup — and their Brodie had to put up with him!
Just before Ricky’s meet-and-greet with Archie, we’d been down at Old Mill Beach. Remember two posts ago, in my “Ricky and the Wrangler” contest, when I posed the question: How do Istop at Elvira’s for coffee, without worrying about Ricky in my open Jeep? Well — duh — the answer was to bring Carol along — which is what I did on Sunday, and which happens to be exactly what Judy Burke suggested in her entry. So congratulations, Judy, your 8×10 glossy of Ricky at the wheel will be on its way to you this week! I’ll see if I can get Ricky to autograph it first . . .
Moments after the photo of Ricky and Carol in front of Elvira’s was taken, we heard a shout from a passing cyclist: “Hey, isn’t that Ricky the Beagle?!” It was none other than Pam, one of BEAGLE MAN’s most faithful followers, riding with her friend Kay. Pam had been having a rough day in the saddle — not one, but two flat tires already. She said running into Ricky was a big pick-me-up.
Ricky had also been a crowd-pleaser one day earlier at another Westport venue. On Saturday, the same threesome, Ricky, Carol, and I (yup, that seems to be the life of empty-nesters!), went to watch Brett, ourfourth-grade neighbor, play a Little League game. Rockies vs. Pontiacs, at Kowalsky Field. This was Ricky’s first Little League game in 6 springs, since Robby’s glory days, but as you can see from the photos, he hasn’t lost his knack for being a kid-magnet.
And I hope some of you saw this amazing recent“Comment” from Erica, a BEAGLE MAN follower Carol and I met in Santa Monica when I was in the midst of LA/XC last September (see “Fight On!”, Sept. 19). Erica, a beagle-owner, fell madly in love with Ricky outside Doodles sports bar on the Third Street Promenade. Now her beagle, Missy, is 18, and quite ill. Erica says she’s in CT often, and was hoping she could visit Ricky from time to time after her dog is gone. I think it’s very, very cool that Ricky the Beagle can be a comfort to another beagle-lover we met clear across the country!