Good Friends and Good Dogs

Good Friends and Good Dogs

Riedel, pencil sketch by Daniel Ambrose

Riedel. Pencil sketch by Daniel Ambrose

Last Thursday night, I was scheduled to appear for a show at the Riviera Country Club in Coral Gables. That morning, my van made a strange noise when I started it. I took it by the garage and three mechanics gathered their heads under the hood, and speculated about where the noise was coming from and what it might be. Perplexed, they asked if I could leave it all day so they could investigate it. I said I had to go to Miami. No way would they drive it to Miami and back sounding like that, said the three of them unanimously.

I was pondering what to do when my phone rang. It was a friend. I told her my dilemma, and to my surprise, she offered to drive me. She recently purchased a new BMW 535i and looking for any excuse to drive.

Several years ago, I house sat for her and her family while they took a trip to Italy. They have two dachshunds and a rescued greyhound named Riedel. One day, I was sitting on the edge of the pool with my legs dangling in the water, when Riedel started racing around the backyard. It’s a beautiful thing to see a greyhound running forty miles an hour at close range. Suddenly, he turned and raced towards me full bore. Seconds before contact, I was about to jump in the water, when he suddenly veered off. I swear he was grinning when he passed by.

Shortly thereafter, Riedel developed a cancerous tumor, and one of his hind legs had to be amputated. Last year, he had to be put to sleep. My friends gave him a good life and he was a beautiful dog. I always meant to do a painting of him.

Good friends and good dogs are two of life’s blessings. My friends don’t know it yet, but as a small gesture of appreciation, and in honor of our friendship, I made this little pencil drawing of Riedel.

I’ll give it to them this week.

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