Mr. Black aka Julius Sneezer

Riley Central suggested writing about a pet. Great idea.


Mr. Black joined a decade ago. He was a $10 dog from the Collin County Animal Shelter. Down through the years Barb and I have had a few dogs – Penny, Prince, Touser, Whiskers, Fluffy, Poncho, Rivets, BoBo, Amigo, Coaly, Junior, Harry, McBark, and Mr. Black. They’ve all been great housemates, offering companionship and unparalleled devotion.

McBark was the most traveled. He made numerous trips between Arizona, Oregon, Missouri, Texas, and he even went with us several times on the six-week semi runs across the lower 48 and Canada. He rode in a bike trailer across Missouri following the Katy Trail while Barb and I towed it with a tandem bike. He was ready for anything and asked for little in return. He even survived two snake bites – one from a sidewinder the other from a diamondback. But it was strokes and old age that finally took him out.

Mr. Black joined us after we were weary of our travels. We spend 24/7 with him. Not to sell McBark short, but Mr. Black has bonded more that any dog we’ve had the privileged of sharing a life with. At this very moment he’s napping in his bed that lies in the knee space beneath the desk where I’m writing. (He loves naps). While he speaks mostly with his ears and tail, he has developed a gigantic vocabulary. If he were to live another ten years he might learn to spell.

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