Keeping A Stray
Okay this is corny but here’s the only two photos I have of my Zeke. He was an Australian sheepdog / retriever mix, so people told me who appeared to know breeds. Best dog anyone could ever want. He was a stray I picked up when I was living in Encinitas in the mid-1980’s. One day I was going into a bank in north Carlsbad near the El Camino shopping mall and Zeke was sitting forlornly outside by the front door looking tired and dehydrated. I did my business in the bank and as I cashed the check I’d come in for I asked the bank teller whose dog was sitting outside. She said she didn’t know, he’d been there for a long time.
As I left the bank and passed Zeke again I looked at him and said, “Come on boy!,” slapping the side of my leg. Instantly he jumped up and with a happy smile followed me. When I got to my ’84 Nissan I patted the top of my truck’s closed tailgate and invited him to hop up and get in the back. To my immense surprise he leaped up and sailed over the the closed tailgate and into the back like he had been doing that all his life.
I don’t know how old Zeke was but he was more pup than anything, even though his teeth appeared worn in front. The leather collar he had looked tattered and too small for him so I immediately took it off and replaced it with one that fit. Next step was we got his vet shots and made sure he was well fed.
My roommates back in Encinitas at the time were dicks and wouldn’t allow him in our house on King’s Cross Court so he had to live in my pickup for a while until I came up with something better. Such is life. But it felt good to help him out. I called him Zeke after Sleek Zeke The Peak, a character in an underground surf comic from the 1960’s-70’s, “Tales From The Tube” by artist Rick Griffin.
Zeke had great hearing. When on tree trimming jobs he would go roam around the surrounding neighborhoods and when I couldn’t see him I could call his name and from way, way far away he’d hear me and come running. Zeke was a great dog. I miss having him around.