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 Lab 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…