Lassie and Jeff, then Timmy, insulated each other from the whatevers on the hit 1950s television series "Lassie." We Baby Boomers who lived in tenements, which didn't allow dogs, knew what we were missing. So, when I grew up and could put together my own kind of life, I made it about a Girl and Her Dog. There have been Nicole, Joshua, Molly Mittens and now Lee H.
Being a mashup of a two-footer and four-footer has closed some worlds, just as it did for Jeff and Lassie. Lassie couldn't go inside the school with Jeff. And so school was never a big part of the scripting in "Lassie." That was before homeschooling went mainstream. Lee K. and I can't do the malls together. I am shopping more online, returning too much of what I ordered because it doesn't fit.
The worlds we have opened together, though, make up for what we can't penetrate. At least weekly we drive to the Atlantic Ocean. That is, off season. On the Connecticut side, it's in New London. On the Rhode Island side it's Westerly. Always we meet lots of other off season people.
They have their photography, knitting, jogging and budding romances. I have my laptop and AT&T hotspot for WiFi. Lee K. has sticks to retrieve.
We break for lunch at Wendy's Drive-Thru and dinner at McDonald's Drive-Thru. There are times neither of us seems to be able to bear returning to business-as-usual, even though it's only a hour away. We bunk at Motel 6, which allows four-footers. For me it's like hanging out at the Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan where Patti Smith did. I wonder when Motel 6 will get the idea to sell rooms as mini condos to us creative types. That's all we need. It's probably more than we need. A half of room would be plenty for Lee K. and myself.
Would Jeff have hardened into a Lost Boy without Lassie? I had no identity before I became a Girl and Her Dog. I had stepped back into myself during the seven years after Molly Mittens died and before my Facebook college friends [Class of '67] strong-armed into adopting. Maybe more caring human beings should help pair off those struggling to become whole, with animals who always are born perfect.