[dropcap]I[/dropcap] sell commercial air filters,” the man told me. “All kinds, I travel all over the South.”
Well, it wasn’t exactly the most exciting conversation I’ve ever had. But in Molino, Florida, I’ve had worse.
Out of the man’s truck hobbled a dog. The old girl limped up to me, panting from the effort. She was elderly, too old to wag her tail. Elderly dogs don’t waste energy wagging.
Instead, they just smile.
The old girl’s name was Purdy. She greeted me by licking my ear. I nearly gagged. Purdy needed a big handful of prescription-strength Tic-Tacs.
Purdy is fourteen years old – eighty-eight in dog years. The man bought her after a nasty divorce. She was his first dog. And he lucked out, she’s a good apple. Purdy rides shotgun with him wherever he goes. He even took her to Europe once. She flew in the cargo hold of the plane. Without tranquilizers.
“She’s having a rough time,” the man explained. “Just found out she’s got bladder cancer.” He whispered, “It’s not good.”
The cancer had already spread to Purdy’s bones. The vet prescribed meds to make her more comfortable, but mostly she was groggy. She had about four months left.
The man rubbed her ears. “Shoot, I didn’t think the old girl would want to ride in the truck today. Thought the pain meds made her too sleepy. Guess I was wrong.”
I’m glad he was.
The day Purdy passes up a truck ride is a day I don’t want to think about.