Walking the dogs on Tuesday evening, a car rolled to a stop on Baranof Street. With the air crisp, and my legs bare, and my top only covered with a thin jacket, I was not looking for a conversation. I longed to get back to the heated office as quickly as possible. I could already feel the sensation of hot water over my numb hands. 

Just my luck, the passenger of the car jumped out in excitement, “Is that Cody?” he yelled. Before I knew it, Cody yanked the leash and beelined towards the stranger. He was moving me further away from heat. Who I thought was a stranger was not a stranger to Cody. The pup stood on his back legs and braced himself by putting his front paws on the man’s legs. Tail wagged feverishly.

The man informed me that Cody used to be his dog. Based on Cody’s reaction, the man was not lying. It’s almost been a year since Cody joined the Clarkston Zoo, but it was apparent he remembered a former member of his pack. I’m always surprised by the memory of dogs. Peaked by that encounter, I returned to the office and Googled, “how long can a dog remember a person?”

I found this answer from animals.com from an article posted in 2018: “A dog can remember someone his entire life! The associations remain stored in their brains and are related to how that person made them feel. A dog might not remember a specific event, but he will associate any gesture, movement, voice, and smell with an emotion.”

The article went on to read that, “In some cases, when families have had to give their animals up for adoption, the dogs can recognize their previous owners years later when they have come over to visit him.”

Exciting stuff, but not as impressive as the link I clicked inside the article, pointed me to a cat who visited his owner’s grave daily. Toledo, the cat, lived in Italy, and, when his owner died, he was passed to the man’s widow, who lived with her daughter. As the article said, Toledo visited the owner’s gravesite every day, bearing gifts, like flowers, branches, paper — items that he could carry in his mouth.

What can animals teach humans — to love everybody. That can never be more apparent than during this presidential election that triggered hatred towards differing political affiliations. Enough about politics. Back to Cody’s encounter.

The man, whose name I forgot, asked a bevy of questions. How has Cody been? Does he still growl when picked up? Is that Cody’s girlfriend? 

My answers: Cody is feisty as ever and loves toys. Boy, does he love toys. Yes, he growls when picked up. He also loves belly rubs. Boy, does he love belly rubs. No, that is not Cody’s girlfriend. That is his big brother, Pepper Jack.

My only question was, why did you give up Cody? He said his family moved into a new place that didn’t allow for pets. Fair enough and reassuring that it wasn’t for his feisty attitude.

With the hair on my naked legs turning to icicles and the office insight, we wrapped up the conversation after five minutes. The man retreated to the car, with Cody’s eyed glued to him. 

A dog never forgets and loves everybody. 

COOKIE BET

I’m a sucker for a cookie bet. Pastor Pisa Faumi won half-a-cookie from me when his Dodgers won the World Series (it was only half-a-cookie because I also had the Dodgers winning — I just wanted action on the series).

Being the generous pastor he is, Pisa gave me an opportunity to win the half-a-cookie back. He challenged me to a game of bowling on the condition that his score was combined with a mutual gym friend’s score, and I spotted him 11 pins (he initially wanted 20, but I talked him down). Pegging Pisa as a ringer, I was hesitant. I’m an average bowler, so if they both eclipsed 200, I was done for. 

Pisa assured me he hadn’t bowled since Richard Nixon’s term as president. The pastor has a way with words, and the cookie roll-off happened last Friday.

After opening the first frame, Pisa fireballed a strike in frame two. I was suckered into another bet. As Pisa rolled a few more strikes, he kept his team afloat as our mutual friend struggled to keep the ball on the lane. I struck in four of the last five frames to punch out with a 203, but it wasn’t enough as I lost by 11 pins (22 including the 11 pins I spotted them). 

I will be visiting Java Flats this weekend to pay my bet. 

NFL PICKS

If 2020 wasn’t bizarre enough, the Daily Mirror is in the midst of publishing issues. That means if you are reading this in the print edition, there is a chance Sunday’s slate of games are over. If you are reading online, don’t take these picks to your bookie

I sported an 8-6 record in Week 9 that upped my season total to 75-43-1. 

SEATTLE (6-1) at 

BUFFALO (6-2)

Is there a better wide receiver duo than Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. The two have both caught a league-high seven touchdowns and are in the top 13 for yards — Metcalf is fourth (680) and Lockett is 13th (575). After Lockett went for a career-high 200 yards and three touchdowns in Week 7, Metcalf sprung for 161 yards and two scores last week against the 49ers. Who is Russell Wilson going to pepper with targets this week, No. 3 wide receiver David Moore? … Seahawks 34, Bills 27.   

CHICAGO (5-3) at

TENNESSEE (5-2)

After beginning the season with five straight wins, Tennessee has dropped the last two — 27-24 to the Steelers and 31-20 to the Bengals. The next four weeks, the Titans face the Bears, the Colts twice and the Ravens. That’s a tough stretch, making this week’s game even more important … Titans 17, Bears 14

BALTIMORE (5-2) at 

INDIANAPOLIS (5-2)

Last year’s MVP, Lamar Jackson, has not got it rolling this season, yet the Ravens are 5-2 heading into Indianapolis. Jackson ranks 27th in passing yards (1,343) but is second among quarterbacks in rushing yards (411). He has yet to find a connection with Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. Could this be the game that the two hook up for a pair of long touchdowns? … Ravens 28, Colts 17

MIAMI (4-3) at ARIZONA (5-2)

Because of Miami’s defense, Tua Tagovailo wasn’t asked to do a lot in his starting debut. The Alabama-product passed for 93 yards and one touchdown, hitting on 12 of 22 attempts. Under head coach Brian Flores, Miami’s defense is emerging as an elite unit. The Dolphins’ 18.9 points allowed per game leads the league. Arizona’s offense is one of the best in the league, averaging 419.1 yards and 29 points per game … Cardinals 21, Dolphins 14

NEW ORLEANS (5-2) at

TAMPA BAY (6-2)

Welcome back to the NFL, Antonio Brown. Regardless of Brown’s off-the-field troubles the past year, the wide receiver is one of the league’s best playmakers. In his one game with Tom Brady last season, he had four receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown. That performance came a few days after Brown signed with the Patriots. Watch out for the Bucs, as Brady has more weapons at his disposal than he ever had in New England … Buccaneers 28, Saints 21

Other games:

Falcons 28, Broncos 21

Seahawks 35, Bills 28

Vikings 24, Lions 17

Chiefs 34, Panthers 21

Giants 14, Football Team 13

Texans 42, Jaguars 24

Steelers 27, Cowboys 7

Patriots 26, Jets 14

Chargers 37, Raiders 34  

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