I looked up at the small sound, craning my neck to see behind me. Back on the sidewalk I had just left as I crossed the street, head down and sorting the mail as I walked my route on automatic pilot, was a small dog. Black and white, a little barrel-bodied and slightly grizzled, the dog stood with his head hung low so as to look up at me from beneath his overhanging brow. His bulging eyes gave him a mournful look, and his tail was doing a slow wag. All it took was a quick look to come to the conclusion that his wuff had been an attempt to get my attention without getting himself into trouble.
“Hey, boy! I don’t have anything to feed you, but I can give you a pretty good scratching!”
I went back across the street as the dog watched me hopefully. Though my mail bag almost pulled me over backward with the move, I decided to squat next to him for the patting rather than leaning straight down to loom over him. He wasn’t looking all that confident about his decision to get my attention. I only had one hand free, the was other filled with the mail I had been sorting, but I started to work my fingers around his ears and the back of his neck. Scratching him like this accomplished two things. First, the little old guy decided he had been spot on to flag me down, and that I was going to be, at least for the foreseeable future, his best friend. Second, I was able to make sure he wasn’t wearing a collar.
That worried me. Though I didn’t know his name I was pretty sure I knew which house on the street was his, but he was five houses down from it and, I think, walking in the wrong direction. With no collar there was no way that anyone else cold know where to bring him. Hmm…
“Come on, boy,” I said, straightening up at about half speed so as not to startle him and put our new-found best-friendship to the test. I slapped my thigh, repeated my ‘come on, boy’, and strolled off up the street accompanied by a slightly elderly and out-of-shape Boston Terrier. I didn’t have to look down to make sure he was staying with me on the walk; every 2nd or 3rd step he would let out a wheezing breath. It was a little like taking a short slow choo-choo train out for some exercise.
We got to the house I suspected was his, and while I went to the front porch and rang the bell, my little gaspy buddy went up the driveway to the side stairs up top the back porch. I rang twice, but there was no answer at my door. Thinking perhaps that the bell was broken, I knocked loudly. Though I could see lights on in the back of the house and hear children moving about in there, no one came to the door. I went to the foot of the stairs and looked up the driveway to find my new little friend waiting for me on the bottom step to the back porch. The expression on his face clearly said “Dude, what the hell are you doing up there when I was clearly leading you back here?”
So I went and joined him on the back porch. He went right to the door, his little pushed-in nose pressed right to the white-painted wood.
I raised my hand and knocked.
And my little pal, my wheezy buddy, my very own little ebony and ivory all rolled into one, the little dog who had accepted my scratching, licked my hand, walked with me like he was my own, even invited me to come up and join him on this back porch, who had looked upon me as his best friend in the world for the past five minutes, took a step back and began to bark at me like I was a total stranger. All that goodwill and harmonious feeling we had built up as I walked him home was gone in an instant as he stood there, stiff-legged, quivering with indignation that I would deign to knock on his door.
“Hey,” I said, "you know me! You brought me up here!"
At my voice he barked some more, not aggressively, but in that 'I'm defending my house from you, stranger' way that most dogs have.
The door opened, and the woman of the house said "Oh, was he following you?"
"No," I said, "but I found him up the street a ways, and since he didn't have a collar I wanted to make sure he got home."
"Thank you," she said. "That was very nice of you! Come on in here!"
That last was said to the dog, who had continued to bark at me during the conversation. At her words he stopped his husky yapping, put what little nose God had given him in the air and stalked into the house. His stiff-legged little walk and the way he wouldn't even look back at me said, more clearly than any words could have, the he had put me, the intruder, in my place, and I was dismissed.
The door closed, and I stood alone on the porch for a few seconds.
"What the hell just happened?"
I received no answer.
Man's best friend my big hairy butt.
Talk to you later!
While I was looking for the photo of the Boston Terrier used in the above post, I stumbled across this photo of another Boston Terrier.
BTs are cool little dogs. They are a part of nature. This, in my humble opinion, is a crime against nature. We need to take a stand against crimes against nature.
You can help.