THE ORIGINAL – This is Dirty Biter, a notorious town dog in the 1970s memorialized in bronze by La Conner artist Bill Matheson, whose sculpture is the centerpiece at Dirty Biter Park on First Street.                                  – Photo courtesy of Susie Racanello
THE ORIGINAL – This is Dirty Biter, a notorious town dog in the 1970s memorialized in bronze by La Conner artist Bill Matheson, whose sculpture is the centerpiece at Dirty Biter Park on First Street.                                  – Photo courtesy of Susie Racanello

I think it is appropriate for the season to tell a Dirty Biter winter tale.
While living on Park Street in La Conner, I received a telephone call from a woman in Conway on Christmas Eve morning 1975.
She called to tell me my small, dark brown dog was in her barn. I thought for a moment and then told her that it couldn’t be Biter, because he was a blond dog and was under our bed still sleeping.
She told me she had found only the words La Conner on his dog tag. She called the La Conner Town Hall, and they gave her my phone number — Biter was quite a character, so they knew us well.
I looked under the bed. No Dirty Biter! With a sinking feeling, I drove straight to Conway, and there was Dirty Biter in her barn. He was very dirty, and it was the first time his name truly described him.
I drove him home, all nine miles, and put him in a warm bath, where he again became the dog I knew and loved — blond, warm, and happy.
As I recount this story, I realize what a fabulous Christmas gift that was! I wondered how Biter turned up in Conway.
I’m still wondering.