Dogs have always played an important role in my life, and looking though some old photos recently, I found this one of a dog and me in my godmother's "luncheonette" in Brooklyn. I'm guessing that the year was about 1962, and the dog belonged to a friend of my father's. I don't know what was going on that day, but I look very suspicious about that dog! I wasn't getting a good feeling. Maybe I was worried it was going to fall. I can't imagine how the grownups expected the dog to rest there on that stool!
I also don't know why I was dressed that way! It had to be a Sunday, and I remember afterwards walking around the corner to my grandparent's house where I played with their dog Queenie all day. There's got to be a story connected to the photo. I just wish I could remember what it was!
Now that my new leg and I have become good friends, I feel ready to get back to storytelling and singing some songs I wrote many years ago. (Even though I can't sing, I wrote them, so I guess that makes it okay.) Because I overthink things, I didn't feel ready to be on stage again. For me it all has to come together, physically and mentally. But now I'm ready, so I'm going to start booking dates. So stay tuned, my friends . . .
Recently, as Brie and I were casually walking the aisles of CVS, picking up some needed items, a man stopped me. "Can I talk to you for a minute?" he asked.
I didn't know what was coming, but the man added, "I've been watching you and your little dog, and how you casually go about your business without giving it much thought."
Probably sensing that I didn't get what he meant, he said, "You two are such an inspiration."
With that he smiled down at Brie which caused her to light up. She rushed right over as he bent down to pet her. "What a delight!" he said.
"Yes," I said. "She's my love, and we've been together so long, I think we both forget that we're are missing a leg.
Brie was so happy that the man paid attention to her, and I was so happy to just be in her presence. People always ask how we met, and I tell them it was purely by accident - an accidental meeting that changed my life.
One of my wife's friends once said to me, "Tony, I think you love that damn dog more than you love Pat."
"Well," I responded, "of course I love Pat, but Brie has gotten under my skin."
Besides being my beloved canine companion, Brie is a constant inspiration, helping me with my challenges as an amputee. And every time she and I take one our casual walks, I witness the power she has to uplift others, simply with an excited wag of her tail as she rushes to greet them on her three legs.