Monday, February 21, 2011
A quaint cozy independent bookstore in the heart of Savannah's historic district was frequented by Erin thousands of times or so it seems upon reflection. Over the years, she spent alot of time in the 12 room establishment where the staff of E. Shaver Bookseller became familiar faces, loyal friends, and part of our extended family. Whatever my schedule or section of town, it was a priority that she step paw upon the squeaky wood floors as often as possible for a session of socialization and a handful of dog treats. Visitations began upon return from Europe after someone mentioned the "dog-friendly bookstore" in passing and they continued until the very end of her life, it was a major source of happiness for all involved.
Erin's tail became a blur of a stub while the leash tugging increased as Madison Square was approached, she was always so excited to see her friends and receive whatever bounty of treats was on hand. It was never a good idea to impede her path to the doorway as she had no problem barreling around or over whoever stood between her and what she craved. When the door was opened, a liver and white streak of lightning made a beeline behind the counter for a quick hello and then over to the water bowl, which was promptly drained of every precious drop. It was obvious when we stopped by for a visit as the evidence was a trail of water around the checkout counter, thus the ongoing joke about not having to mop the floor because Erin already had.
During the numerous visits, Erin lounged underfoot making eye contact with the friendly staff to gain attention or delicacies from the doggie treat jar and throughout the visits there would generally be lots of both. When not utilizing her charm for personal gain, she spent time entertaining the masses who browsed the bookstore on a regular basis. Adults and children alike fell under her spell and she gladly allowed them the pleasure of stroking her fur or massaging those droopy ears while smilingly she leaned against their legs for support. While this doting continued she would glance over at me with a huge smile and I'd reassure her it was okay to carry on and she'd refocus her eyes upon the new best friend until the customers remembered they came to purchase books. Children took a special interest in Erin and the feeling was mutual as she loved to entertain youngsters, it was touching to see them lying on the floor or relaxing in the children’s literature room, just the two of them.
Often there would be several visits in a single day and each stopover was regarded as the most important thing in the world. After a long session at the dog park, extended squirrel chasing outings or many other dog-related events that Erin routinely took part in, we would swing by to say hello, get some refreshments, and allow her the opportunity to catch her breath. It was endearing to see her fall asleep wherever she desired and occasional snoring could be heard much to the delight of the staff and customers. Even when the shop was closed, Erin would stare at the door anxiously waiting for it to swing open so the spoiling could begin but regrettably I had to nudge her onward, “Tomorrow we can come back and see them” and tomorrow always came.
Our friends at E. Shaver Bookseller shared our accomplishments, happiness, anguish, and the daily adventures of Erin throughout the years and were arguably her biggest supporters. When she performed in a local production of “The Miracle Worker”, they were in the audience on opening night with my family and nicknamed us “Boy and Dog” years ago and the tag has endured even after the passing of my angel, it’s a moniker which I proudly wear. They suffered as I did whenever sickness came and were amongst the first to be informed of Erin’s sudden passing. I still visit my longtime friends to share a laugh, reflect on the past, and to visit the site of many glorious days. Boy and Dog will always live on!!