In 2006, rock and roll icon Jerry Lee Lewis released an album of duets called Last Man Standing (with Kid Rock, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton and more Lewis fans). Because his fellow Sun Records alumni…Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison…had all left this world.
Jerry Lee Lewis is a rock and roll survivor and I’m thinking his spirit is alive and well in canine form. His four-legged soulmate is Wasaga Beach’s renowned stray dog…though he apparently has a few homes….Socks, or Boots, or that black and white dog that wanders all over town.
Lewis did what he wanted and went wherever he pleased. Failed the 6th grade? Screw that. He sat in the 7th grade classroom and when the teacher challenged him, young Jerry Lee grabbed the man’s tie and started to choke him. Rules did not apply to the defiant lad from Ferriday, Louisiana.
When 97.7 the Beach launched in 2007, we shoehorned a radio station into a former real estate office on Mosley Street, across from Sears. That’s when I first encountered Socks. Didn’t know his name at the time. He was just a neighbourhood pooch that trotted past me as I walked to my car. Didn’t stop. I felt invisible and, considering his size, I was relieved that Socks didn’t bark at me or regard me with suspicion.
I would see Socks cross four lanes of traffic, look left, stop in the middle, look right, and make his way to the beach to swim or search nearby homes to find a female friend.
Or trot across the Schooner Town Bridge, next to McDonald’s, and always stay on the sidewalk. You would expect and fear that a stray dog would run in front of a car but no, Socks somehow knows that the road is for cars and sidewalks are for everyone else.
There are people in Wasaga Beach who want to capture Socks and turn him into a traditional pet and that’s a bad idea. He belongs to the streets. He does what he wants and, if this remarkable creature with mixed eye colour and instincts that are at least half-human needs our help…a garage for shelter, some wet food (doesn’t like the dry stuff from what I’ve read), or just a salute that says, “Hey Socks, long may you wander,”….
Let him be. Socks has made it this far and we should celebrate that, like Jerry Lee Lewis, he is still standing, running and living the ultimate dog’s life.