My uncle David has a dental practice in Rangeley, Maine. He’s been there since the late 80s, and when he first moved to Maine and began the practice, lived in a cabin in the woods right on a lake with no electricity. An environmentalist an avid outdoorsman whose credentials include a Public Health Service Externship Program after dental school treating native Eskimos in rural Alaska, this cabin in the woods was no real surprise. Later came a generator, electricity, and another house closer to his office “in town,” as they call it in rural Maine.
My cousins and I loved visiting him in Maine growing up; there were lessons in fishing, canoeing, campfires and stories and lots of fun times with family. And one particularly memorable summer…a litter of cute puppies. Rangeley is a vacation spot for many people, including a good friend of my uncle who owns a summer home there, an artist and photographer known for his photos and work with Weimaraner dogs. You’ve probably seen these somewhere before-Weimaraners dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, Marilyn Monroe, in trench coats driving cars, or wearing boots or roller skates.
This artist gave my uncle one of the original dogs from the litter of puppies he did much of this work with, Crooky. And my cousins and I met the whole litter of cute Weimaraner puppies on one summer visit to Rangeley. Crooky and my uncle were inseparable, except, of course, when she was on photo shoots or filming commercials in New York City.
When my uncle would visit his siblings and nieces and nephews back in Massachusetts, or when we’d visit Maine and notice Crooky’s absence, we’d ask David, “Where’s the dog?” “Oh, she’s in New York on a photo shoot,” or “Oh, filming an episode of Sesame Street and a Honda commercial.” My cousins and I already thought my uncle was cool, but a cute semi-famous dog increased the coolness factor significantly, if that was even possible. Since the rest of Crooky’s life involved hanging out at a lake house with picturesque scenery chasing a tennis ball and wide open space everywhere to run around, we determined the life of my uncle’s dog was probably the best you could ask for.
After Crooky came another Weimaraner, Ben, and when Ben injured his leg, my uncle, (who majored in physics in college), fashioned some type of device using a rope and pulley system to help him heal, (I’d explain it better if I understood it), and now there’s Drayco, a rescue lab mix. Crooky and Ben were hunting dogs, and could sniff out a ball from a mile away.
My uncle and cousin Sam, his oldest son, told me the other night, “We’re not sure Drayco has the best peripheral vision, and I don’t think his sense of smell is that great either.” We then watched him try to find a bone that was less than a foot away from him for about 15 minutes, unable to control our laughter. Even still, if given the choice to start over as anything, I’d choose the life of my uncle’s dog.
The man himself: http://www.rangeleydental.com/Biography.html