Stone, the Mutt Whisperer

Move over Cesar Millan! There’s a new canine charmer in town, and his name is Stone Grant.


There is only one thing my son loves more than the outdoors, and that’s putting the outdoors in his mouth. Previously I would merely grimace when he put bits of pinecone and rose petals in his mouth, but now that the ‘outdoors’ includes free range pig and cow feces and slimy muddy, rocks, I’m sent into a full blown panic daily.

Like all boys, he’s a magnet for filth. He genuinely is not happy unless he’s so covered in grime that it virtually seeps from his pores. Can you think of another mammal that likes to roll around in dirt? Ten points if you said a dog!

I believe any given township has an abundance of one thing, and that’s stray dogs. Stone loves dogs, and they love him back; which is something he and Cesar have in common. However, unlike the very polished Mr. Melan, whose show showcases him solving the problems of pampered, well-groomed pooches, Stone gravitates towards street dogs – the mangier the better.

One day during dance time, a dog wondered up to the entrance. Stone was ecstatic.

“Ooooo! Doggie!!” he exclaimed while, to my horror, he began to stroke and pet the dog. There had to be an innumerable number of fleas and ticks in its matted pelt. Don’t ticks carry lime disease?

“Doggie, doggie, dooooggiiiie!” he continued to proclaim, joy and rapture infused in every syllable.

The dog took the incessant screaming surprisingly well. After all, it was probably the most positive human contact he’d had since birth. He cautiously relished in the attention.

Eventually, Stone quieted down as the two of them began to meld into a temporary single being – just a dusty boy and his dusty, mangy mutt sunning themselves and taking in a show. The primal need to forage for food finally separated them. A pack of stray dogs barked and ran by beckoning their comrade to flee with them; and Stone waddled over to me in search of cookies, his clothes and hands still bearing the evidence of his brief playtime with his beloved (filthy) canine friend.