A Story about a Dog


The dog’s name is Toby.  Picture your favorite mind’s eye-view of a mutt.  You have Toby.  Toby lives in Kamensk-Uralksy.  It’s about the size of Bakersfield.  Bakersfield is in the California region of the USA.  Kamensk-Uralsky is in the Sverdlovsk-Oblast region of Russia.  Toby is used to cold weather.  His home is on the edge of Siberia along the Ural Mountains. 

Toby belongs to the brother of a Bakersfield resident who is a close friend of ours.  She is leaving tomorrow to go see her mother, her brother and Toby in Kamensk-Uralksy.  Toby is an unbelievable mutt.

Strangely enough, the Sverdlovsk-Oblast region was a very strategic military area 50 years ago when the Soviets had moved arms factories there.  A few weeks before I graduated high-school in 1960, this area was in our national headlines.   Our famous U-2 spy plane, flown by Gary Powers, was shot down when we were illegally flying-spying on this area.

Back to Toby:  He lives with his master on one side of the city and he loves to go visit his master’s mom on the other side of the city.  She always has special doggy treats and spoils him with attention.  She isn’t easily accessible because she lives on a 5th floor in an apartment building with a security locked front door.  Toby understands he has to wait until somebody comes in or goes out and then he can dash in the door and up the five flights of stairs to scratch on the door.  Of course he has to get across town first.

When his master leaves for work, Toby can let himself out through the doggie door and scamper down the block to the bus stop.  The ticket agent on the bus has tried to stop Toby from scampering onto the bus, but Toby is fast and rushes to hide under the seat and bury his head.  The ticket agent has given up and pays no attention now as Toby hops on the bus and lies under the front seat.

It’s a long ride across town and Toby is patient.  No one knows if Toby can count stops or tell time, but about two or three stops from his intended one, he gets up and starts sniffing as the bus door opens.  He will cautiously climb down to the lower step and frantically sniff when the door opens and if it’s the wrong stop he climbs back to the top step. 

When the right odor reaches his nose, Toby leaps off the steps onto the sidewalk and runs full tilt to the apartment building. 

He then waits until someone opens the door. 

Toby spends a few hours with mom and then, by himself, walks down the five flights, waits for the door to open and takes the bus back to the other side of town and home before his master arrives.

Our friend will be back from her Russia visit in August and we hope to have pictures of Toby’s adventure.

You’ll be the first to see before the video goes viral.

About bakoheat

Writer/Musician
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2 Responses to A Story about a Dog

  1. I’m not sure how one distinguishes between “illegal” and “legal” espionage. I’m pretty sure most countries have laws against the spies of other countries, but have their own spooks. That just struck me as a peculiar way to put it…

    • bakoheat says:

      Who am I to argue with a lawyer? I should have said the U-2 illegally entered Soviet air space; that was more accurate. It was an embarrassing situation for Eisenhower because after Khrushchev announced they had shot down a spy plane, Ike concocted a crazy story about a weather plane from Turkey that got lost and the pilot had radioed he was running out of oxygen. We even released phony pictures of the “weather” plane. After 4 days of fabrications, Khrushchev announced, “”I must tell you a secret. When I made my first report I deliberately did not say that the pilot was alive and well… and now just look how many silly things the Americans have said.” The plane had somehow crashed almost intact; enough that the Soviets could develop the pictures from the camera. Another interesting note, Powers was carrying a “lucky” Silver Dollar that pulled apart and revealed a poisoned-tipped needle. Also, we were flying all of our spying missions out of an air base in friendly Pakistan. Oh, how times have changed.
      And finally, the person who is visiting the little dog, Toby, sits a few feet across from you in the Symphony.

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