A Stray

A stray dog showed up at my house this week. I was slow to recognize that he was a stray because he was in disguise. A leather collar with a brass plate on it led me to believe he was only a visiting neighbor coming to say hello. He would hang around the house all day, driving my two dogs crazy. They could see him through the windows, or screens, or fence. No matter where they were he was there too. I shooed him off on more than one occasion as I was convinced he had a home, and that he would NOT be coming into mine. He disappeared in at night, only to reappear during the day. One night, Bill figured out the dog was not going home, but sleeping in the woods nearby. I knew the only way he would do that is if he had nowhere to go.
Then yesterday he got into the fenced backyard. Remember, we have been trying to keep our dogs in the fence for years…unsuccessfully I might add. Yet this dog, dug INTO the yard…not out of it. At this point I got picture, this dog has chosen my home to be his. His eyes did not understand my explanation that I have two dogs that keep me more than busy. His tail wagged all the way out the gate until he curled up by the garage door to lie down. He was not relenting. Taking matters into my own hands, I removed his collar and found a phone number engraved on it. I felt a flood of relief. I dialed the number while telling him how fortunate he was to have such a wonderful family who would engrave his collar. The robotic voice on the other end told me that the number had been disconnected. Still holding on to my resolve, I determined to wait him out. Eventually, he will have to move on to find food, I reasoned.
I left the house for an hour or so and when I returned the storms had started. ‘Just the garage,’ I thought…it’s not like I am letting him INSIDE the house. He was overjoyed, and I thought his old tail would wag right off when he believed I had changed my mind. When I closed the door to the house in his face, he simply curled up on the welcome mat. His graying face, and cataract filled eyes should have tipped me off to his patience level. A couple of hours into the storm I went out to check on him and he shivered with excitement. Trash covered the garage from a bag he had gotten into. I guess he found some food after all…resourceful little thing. I gathered up the remains of shredded paper, and fast food wrappers and he cheered me on, dancing around my feet because I came to check on him. The rumbling thunder didn’t faze him. The lightning wasn’t an issue. He was warm and dry in the garage but I decided that he might be thirsty and that he needed some proper dog food. Yes. I caved. My tender heart could take it no longer. I fed him. He acted half-starved and gobbled the food up in about 30 seconds. The second bowl went just as fast. He slept in the garage last night. I turned on a small light for him. I am calling him Buddy. On my agenda today is to try to find out where he belongs. Don’t even say it….

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