The year was 1986. I was traveling through the American South with a spaniel I had picked up along the way who answered to the name "Kenneth".
My goal was to reach Little Rock, Arkansas in order to see the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library and Museum. Unfortunately, I had committed a great error and had greatly misjudged, as he would not even be elected for another six years.
While the spaniel who responded to the name "Kenneth" almost certainly knew that I was too early, he remained mute. In all the many weeks we spent together, he only muttered one word. That word was "barnacle" and there's a slight possibility that I imagined him saying it, as I hadn't slept in four days, but I like to think he said it, because I like to imagine that the spaniel who answered to the name "Kenneth" knew much about seafaring.
Although I have been told that my imagination is a silly place.
The spaniel who answered to the name "Kenneth" and I parted ways after we passed through Mississippi. It seemed he had his own road to travel, as I had mine.
I think of him often. And hope he has found somebody new to call him "Kenneth", that he might respond to it. Happily.