Return to Nemo (person)
One transliteration of Nemo's name, in Japanese, using the ancient ideograms, would render his name as "The rustle of the wind blowing in the bushes". That name was my favorite, for it described him well, and I have always found the notion poignant.
Every proud friend of a dog, believes that their dog is unique, and in their own way they all are. Nemo was my friend: I was his. We had much to share, many joys of nature which we both took delight in. We also shared many things which are considered strictly human.
Nemo sang the blues. Literally. I would strum a guitar by a campfire and he would gaze at me with the soulful eyes which only a dog can have, and he would howl in tune. He would mutter. His eyes twinkled in the glimmering firelight and his sense of humor was clear to all. Nemo was a legend in every place in which he was known.
Nemo would consume a half lemon with delight. It was his theatre of life: in it he would pounce suck, shudder, bark, growl and roll his eyes in a parody of love-hate, sweet-sour, pain-pleasure that had every member of his audience in tears of laughter—from three year old children to octagenarians.
Nemo was a renouned hunter of black truffles. An old rustic in the south of France first suggested to me that he had "the nose" as he put it. Turns out he did. His truffle hunts were other occasions of shared joys as he would unearth the black gnarled tubers and bark his pride and delight at me. He also expected to be served his share of whatever dish I would then fix with the booty.
Nemo was generous. He was always kind to the cats of his entourage and inevitably would chase any interlopers. He would growl at any kitten approaching his dish as he ate. But he would always leave some for them and push them towards it when he had eaten.
Nemo was fair. He hated violence and could not abide anyone being unpleasant to a child. More than once I had to pull him off an angry parent who had chastized a child and made it cry.
Nemo disliked drunks and his hackles would rise when he spotted one even at fifty paces. He could distinguish between a happy drunk and a drunk who could turn nasty. Many have witnessed this and marvelled.
I did not marvel, for I knew profoundly what lay in that dog's heart. Nemo slept at the foot of my bed and I still feel for his presence there every single morning. It is only a spirit presence now. Nemo has transcended these paltry bonds of earth.
I miss him, and yet his presence is ever near. He still is my teacher. He reaches out to me from wherever he is. And he knows that I know that he knows—I know that.