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Comments Off on Our Town – June 4, 2020

Our Town – June 4, 2020

| Animals, Dogs, Guest Written, Kathy Ingallinera, Our Town | June 4, 2020

The Soupster remembers when he could sit down over coffee with a friend and discuss the wisdom of dogs.

Originally published June 19, 2008, Submitted by Kathy Ingallinera

I turned the corner and reined in my dog, Solly, on her 16-foot retractable leash. Up ahead I could see a woman walking with her dog and I didn’t want Solly too far away and out of control. “Oh, it’s Cody. You know Cody,” I said to my four-legged companion as she pulled on the leash and strained to get closer to the other dog.

“Hi, how are you?” I said in passing to the woman.

I heard her speaking to her dog as I walked by. “That’s Solly. You’ve met Solly before.” She guided the older collie, as she waved at me and shouted, “Have a good day.”

“You too. Come on, Solly, I have to get to work.” We headed back towards home.

“Here comes Bach!” I looked at Solly but it was obvious that she had seen Bach before I did. Her eyes brightened and she yanked at the leash, looking back at me to tell me to hurry up.
As Bach and his person got closer, Solly and I crossed the street so the dogs could interact. “Hi Bach, how are you?” I bent over and scratched the old black lab on his head and offered him a treat.

Bach’s owner bent over, patting his thigh, calling softly to my dog. “Come here, Solly.” When both dogs were done sniffing, we went our separate ways calling, “Have a good day,” to each other.

We ran into several other dogs and their humans on the walk. I called dogs by their names and exchanged pleasantries with their owners.

After work I stopped by a café strategically located behind a local bookstore. I pulled a chair up to a round table to engage the Soupster in some repartee.

“Good afternoon Soupster. I’m doing a survey. Do you have a dog?” He nodded yes.

“Do you walk your dog?” I asked.

“Most days.”

“And do you run into others walking their dogs?” I continued.

“Yes, again. Am I going to win a prize?”

“No. Do you know the names of the dogs you run into?”

“Usually. What are you getting at?”

“One more query. Do you know the names of their owners?”

“No – not unless they’re neighbors…”

“Aha! I am NOT the only one. I realized today I know the names of the dogs in my wide neighborhood, but not the names of the owners. Why do you suppose that is?” I reached over and swiped the rest of his treat.

“I don’t know, but now I have to buy another raspberry bar,” he mumbled as he headed back to the counter.

I followed him. “I am going to introduce myself to my dog’s dog-friends’ people when I meet them from now on. Well, maybe on the second meeting. Don’t want to rush things. Hey, Soupster, thanks. This one’s on me,”

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Comments Off on Our Town – July 29, 2010

Our Town – July 29, 2010

| Guest Written, Kathy Ingallinera | July 29, 2010

While waiting to cross the street by the Roundabout, I turned to the woman next to me and said, “I really like that sweater. What is that color – Dried Kelp?” She gave me a surprised look but said nothing and took a few steps to the side, putting some space between us.

After crossing, I ran to catch up with my friend Lizbeth, who was hurrying towards the library, where I was headed. “Hey Liz, what’s your hurry?” I asked, breathless.

“No hurry, I always walk fast. What’s new with you?” she queried.

“Well, I got a new raincoat the other day; you like it? I almost bought the Milt Green, but decided on Salmonberry Jewel instead.”

“That sure is a bright shade of red. Looks good on you, but I think I would’ve gone with the Milt myself. That would accent my red tresses. Well, gotta run, late for work!”

In the library, I headed over to the new book section, where I ran into the Soupster, perusing the vegetarian cookbooks.

“Hi, Soupster. Hey, new boots?” I asked, pointing to the brown rubber & neoprene numbers he was sporting.

“Yep, what do you think? I like this color; it’s called Brown Bear Scat. They also came in Mildew Black, but I think the brown is more versatile, don’t you?” The Soupster turned one foot back and forth, on his toe, to model the boots for me.

“Oh, brown is the way to go here in Our Town. We could all use a little more color in our wardrobes!”

I headed off to do a few more errands downtown, the Soupster tagging along behind. In the pharmacy I spotted Amy poring over the latest copy of Bride Magazine, which looked heavy enough to club a halibut with. “Looking at bridal gowns, I see,” I said as I peered over her shoulder.

“Getting closer to the big day! What do you think of this dress?” she said as she pointed with a freshly manicured nail to a long lacy white gown.

“Ooh, I love that nail polish. Looks like Low Bush Cranberry! Back to the gown – I like the style, but think it would look better in a nice subtle Halibut Cheek instead of that bright Edgecumbe White.”

“I think you’re right. Can’t blind my fellow Sitkans with something that bright.  Thanks for the advice.”

Amy then looked at me and said, “You know, I’ve used the crayons in the big box, the one with 128 colors, and I have never heard of any of the colors you mentioned in the past few minutes.”

“Didn’t you get the flyer from the hardware store in the newspaper? The paint company has come out with a new line of Our Town colors. All the ones I mentioned are in there and so many more! I’m thinking of painting my house in Coho Salmon this summer.” I looked at the Soupster. “You’re going to help, right?”

“Only if we do the trim in Sphagnum Moss.”

– Submitted by Kathy Ingallinera

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Comments Off on Our Town – September 24, 2009

Our Town – September 24, 2009

| Animals, Dogs, Guest Written, Kathy Ingallinera, Our Town, Pets | September 24, 2009

My old dog, Grizzly, and I round the corner in the park and I spy the Soupster sitting on a bench. I sit beside him as Grizzly sniffs some Cow Parsnip. “Hey, Soupster, you like old dogs or young dogs better?” He reaches over to scratch Grizzly on the head, causing both of them to grin with pleasure, although only Grizzly’s leg starts tapping.

“Well, I like young pups better; so full of energy and doing funny things. They’re a lot of work though, with housebreaking and their constant chewing. What about you?”

“Been awhile since I had a pup. I’ve grown fond of older dogs. They have so much to teach us, if we’re willing to be their students.”

“What do you mean? I’ve heard of taking dogs to obedience school, but never of people being trained by dogs,” the Soupster says.

“Got time to take a stroll around the park with us? Grizzly might teach you a few things I call the ‘P’s’” of senior dogs.”

We walk until Grizzly stops near a totem pole, closes his eyes and lifts his nose into the wind. “The first ‘P’ of older dogs – pleasure. You saw this earlier when you were scratching his head and now as he stops to inhale the smells of the sea. Old dogs take pleasure in small, simple things.”

“Older people do, too,” the Soupster mumbles to himself.

We amble along the level trail for a few more minutes until Grizzly sees a salmonberry bush. “Now you’ll see passion – the second ‘P’.” The Soupster stands back, not sure what to expect. I reach through the picked-over branches and find some plump salmon-colored berries that Grizzly quickly inhales. When the pickings get slim I try to sneak a few ruby-colored ones into his mouth. He spits them right out. “That’s another ‘P’ of older dogs – persnicketyness. Once in a while he’ll eat a red one, but that’s his prerogative.”

Continuing on the trail, I reach in my bag and give Griz a biscuit. A piece of it falls into a hole at the base of a tree, and is partially hidden by the roots. He uses his right front paw to reach in and slowly drag the piece forward until he grabs it with his snout. “That ‘P’ was persistence and Grizzly has it, especially when it comes to food.”

“Tell me about the last ‘P’s’ so I can get back to work.”

“Well, then you should stay with us a little longer. Grizzly could teach you about patience like he has taught me. I walk slowly, glad for every minute he is by my side. There’s one more ‘P’ too – that’s peace. That’s what we share each evening when I give him a kiss goodnight and he returns it.”

The Soupster is deep in thought. He says, “You know, the dogs in our town have it lucky. We live in a beautiful place where we have time for slow walks and good smells and peace.”

“Yes – and plenty of salmonberries!”

– Submitted by Kathy Ingallinera, in memory of Grizzly, who died 9/1/09 under a salmonberry bush

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Would you like to create an Our Town?

The Sitka Soup would welcome an infusion of “new blood.” You may tell your story in words (450-500 of them), or as a graphic “cartoon” strip. We would even consider a short original photo essay with B&W photos. Your Our Town must be closely connected with the life of Sitkans, and the Soupster must make an appearance, even if it’s a brief one.

If we run your Our Town, we’ll pay you $50. To submit: Email your creation to shop@sitkasoup.com and put “Our Town” in the Subject line. Or call: 747-7595.

What is Our Town?

Our Town is a bi-weekly column that tracks the life of the Soupster and his friends and neighbors.

The Soupster is a long-time resident of Our Town who seems to have all the time in the world to traipse around, visit friends and neighbors and get into minor scrapes.

The first Our Town was published December 22, 1999.

Read Our Towns published before February 2009 HERE.

Who is the Soupster?

The Soupster is a long-time resident of Our Town who seems to have all the time in the world to traipse around, visit friends and neighbors and get into minor scrapes.

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