Rick’s sidekick an agent of peace and pleasure

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, August 18, 2016

Rick Ducommun’s new sidekick, Australian shepherd pup Wyatt Earp, pleads with longing eyes to have his belly rubbed.  Photo by Warren Harbeck

I made a new friend outside The Gentry Espresso Bar the other day. He’s only three months old, but, wow, what a fan club he already has. He’s even brought emotional healing to some. His name is Wyatt Earp, and he’s the recently acquired companion of professional financial planner, Rick Ducommun.

Rick introduced me to Wyatt as I was about to enter the café. The experienced show dog handler was sitting on the bench near the door, while Wyatt was cuddled up at his feet. Tailless Wyatt rose and welcomed me with wagging butt and longing eyes.

Wyatt Earp is a tricolour Australian shepherd, a breed legendary for its intelligence, energy, trainability, showmanship, gentleness and reputation for bonding with its owners, Rick said.

In spite of the name, however, the breed was not actually developed in Australia, but in the western United States, he explained. And although it’s great with livestock, it’s the breed’s winsome ways with people that make it so popular.

That’s why he bought Wyatt, he said, “to interact with people and to help me handle the sometimes powerful stress they and I have.”

Rick beamed as he told me about one recent experience.

He was about to enter a professional facility with his sidekick, when he remembered their no-dogs-allowed policy. As they stood there, however, one of the principals of the firm came along and, seduced by Wyatt’s longing eyes, invited them both in anyhow.

Rick had no sooner taken a seat in the waiting room than one of the staff came along and asked if she could borrow Wyatt briefly. She took Wyatt into another room to a stressed-out client.

“I’m told it took a couple of minutes, but that person became calm and wanted to keep him!” Rick said.

Of course, in spite of how cute he is, Wyatt will still be banned from some places out of fear that “he may show dog behavior one day,” Rick quipped. “So, we will go to where we are welcome and avoid going to where we aren’t.”

While I was standing there chatting with Rick, many passers-by made it clear that Wyatt was, indeed, in a dog-friendly place by that bench. Not even total strangers could resist this Australian shepherd’s longing eyes.

That’s not at all unusual, Rick said. Ever since acquiring Wyatt, he’s had all kinds of people walk up and say, “I’m sorry, but I need to pet your dog.”

Well, I couldn’t resist scratching my new buddy behind his ears, either. Welcome to Cochrane, Wyatt Earp. May all who have the privilege of meeting you find peace and pleasure in your presence.


© 2016 Warren Harbeck

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