Fifteen years ago. I had longer hair, skinnier features, and the same truck.
I saw him outside the Mexican restaurant. He was nosing behind the dumpster, looking for food. I’ve seen that look on a creature before. It was desperation.
He edged away from me, but not quickly. He didn't know if he could trust me, and I couldn’t blame him. It’s a rough world out there.
He wasn’t wagging his tail, so I took the same posture my father used to take in the presence of feral animals. I squatted and held my hands outward.
It worked like a charm. The old boy came right to me.
I was thrilled. There is something about stray dogs that awakens the dog whisperer in me. I whisper; and they run like hailfire.
But this dog didn’t run. He was black, with white spots, he had a chunk missing from one ear. He was timid, but he had a sweet demeanor. He found a special place in my heart from the beginning.
I have always had a
thing for strays. This probably goes back to the day my mother first brought home a chocolate dog named Cody. She was a dog with a warm personality that could melt a block of ice.
Cody wore a purple collar and licked me raw upon our first meeting. She became my fast friend. She was not only beautiful, she was the luckiest dog I ever knew.
There was something about her. Once, she was bitten by a copperhead, and survived. Another time, she was poisoned by a farmer with a grudge. She was sick for days, but she survived.
There was the time she fell off a fishing boat without anyone knowing she was missing. She almost drowned. But she didn’t. Somehow she made it to shore. That dog must’ve swam five hundred yards.
Later in my life there was another stray I loved. A…