BUMMER
No one ever told Bummer he's a dog.

He expected to eat, sleep, bathe and otherwise be treated like fellow humans. The thought that he'd sleep alone on a drafty floor through cold night was absurd. He enjoyed snuggling betwixt clean sheets and warm covers as did all humans.

He especially savored dozing in the early evening after a strenuous afternoon run with Franco over chill sand dunes along San Francisco's Pacific coastline.

That followed by a hearty supper of Ken-L Ration and perhaps a Slim Jim, then a snooze near gas heater would have the little mop-top so drugged with fatigue that he slept right through Walter Cronkite's Evening News.

The Bummer cared not a whit about the day's body count from Vietnam that spring of 1973, as Franco did college at SFSU.

All that mattered for Bummer was that he was well exercised, fed and loved. Life was good.

By 9 p.m. his post-supper slumber would ebb and he'd be ready to step onto the foggy sidewalks of San Francisco's Sunset District for a goodnight pee. Leg lifted, he'd eyeball a rare two-legged passerby with the disinterest of cow eying a passing train.

Some evenings the combined effect of a strenuous afternoon workout, good chow and the stupefying warmth from that blessed heater would render him catatonic, weight of world on his eyelids.

On such nights his obedient servant Franco would oh-so-gently transfer the weary warrior from rug in front of heater to a cushy air-foam pillow on nearby couch. His Nibs might feign disapproval but oh-sweet-Jesus, how cloud-like that pillow did feel.

San Francisco's night foghorns were belittled by snores from an eight-pound poodle.

Only his devilish man-servant knew the magic words that would summon warrior from union with the gods of slumber.

His buzzsaw-in-barrel snoring stopped and eyelids snapped open in answer to the Bummer's call to arms: 

"Who wants a cookie?"

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