The woman was walking her dog on the sidewalk. I saw them. She had a Cocker Spaniel, it was wearing a red vest. The dog was well-behaved.
I love Cocker Spaniels. Long ago, I had one.
“Her name’s Lady,” the woman said. “She used to be a service dog, but she’s not anymore. She’s retired.”
Lady is brown, with long floppy ears, and a calm face. She is gentle, and she is thick in the middle. She has two eyes that seem wise.
Lady’s quite an animal. Her previous owner passed from a stroke in 2017. Lady was eleven when it happened. This woman has owned Lady ever since.
“She’s a good girl,” said the woman. “But she likes to be really doing something, you know, working. I don’t have any jobs for her to do though, so I just invent games for her.”
And at the end of every day, Lady crawls on the woman’s lap. She rests her head on the woman’s tummy while
she reads a book before bed. Lady usually falls asleep before anyone else.
Lady also gets up a lot earlier than the others in the family. But she makes no sound. She only waits by her new mother’s bed, sitting at attention, until everyone else wakes up. Old habits die hard.
This dog looks just like a friend I had once.
My old Cocker Spaniel was just like this one. One day, she just showed up on my porch, covered in knots and burrs. She was one of God’s own saints, sent to earth to show me what it means to slow down, eat more saturated fat, and take longer naps. She was my friend when I needed a friend.
We spent the rest of her life together. She would wait for me in the windowsill every evening. Whenever my truck would pull into the…