My Dad and some of my uncles can identify can cars on site, particularly cars from the 50s and 60s. Hell, my Dad once saw a single car door and knew the make, model, and approximate year. Always thought that was pretty impressive, though my own visual recognition for cars gotten pretty good over the years. Of course, Dad can also usually tell you not just the make and model, but the year, which I can’t.

This morning while I was on the way to the gym, there was a minivan in front of me, and there was a dog in it. I couldn’t see the dog, obviously it wasn’t a tall breed, but I could see the shadow of its tail wagging on the inside wall of the van. And I knew what breed it was from the shape of the tail and how it moved. And it made me grin.

I confirmed soon after, when I pulled up beside them at a light, that it was, indeed, a Basset Hound in the back seat. He looked very pleased to be out for a car ride.

And it reminded me of my Dad’s recall with cars. And it’s not like I’ve spent three decades meticulously studying dogs’ tails and how they wag, but I have spent three decades around and loving dogs. Like my Dad has spent six and a half decades around and loving cars. You notice stuff. Amazing what passion will lodge in your brain, even when you’re not consciously noticing or studying it.

Of course, I still couldn’t tell you the age of the Basset Hound. 🙂

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