…has decided to stick around.
He showed up a few weeks ago and we shooed him away. There are a lot of dogs in our country neighborhood, with (sigh) only one or two ever on a leash. There are no fenced-in yards between our big country lots, so we tend to shoo away any and all dogs since I want the chickens and the cats to life scare-free lives (that reason, and that I don’t much like dog poop on my children’s barefeet).
One morning my man shooed this dog away with extra gusto. He hung his head and disappeared into the woods along the river and we went on with our day. A couple of hours later, we were working in the front yard (okay…him: working; me: working on watching him work) when our ballerina said, “Daddy, that dog’s got guts” (I know. The grammar.) The dog was laying by my van, not far away from us.
There was something about the dog’s dejected, lonely, hungry look that I started to wonder about him. I called him over, and he came after a good bit of coaxing (I’d been shooing him away, remember).
On his collar was a phone number, so I called it and a man answered. I asked if he was missing a dog. He didn’t really want to define it as “missing,” but, yes, he owned a dog named “P’nut” (the name on the collar) which he hadn’t seen for a long while.
I looked at P’nut’s protruding ribs and his starving-skinny belly with the hipbones sticking out, and the whole skinniness making his head look abnormally large.
“He’s hungry,” I said, “He looks real skinny.”
The fella on the phone had an aw-he’s-alright tone as he said, “He goes across the river sometimes. I guess he’s finding a female. We’ll get him.”
I gave directions to our house.
It’s been three weeks since. P’nut is still here.
We fed him cat food for the first 2 days, since that’s all we had and we didn’t think the owner would delay. I’d said the dog looked hungry, after all, wouldn’t that let the owner know to hurry?
Finally, on Day 3, we bought dog food for it. We’re now down to the last 1/4 of the bag. His hipbones aren’t as pokey; his ribs are less noticeable.
For the first week, P’nut slept a lot. The first two days, he didn’t have the energy to do more than lift his head unless we really begged him to move.
After the first week, he barked for the first time – at 4am. I’d have preferred 4pm for P’nut to find his voice, but 4am will do. I’m happy his strength is returning.
He’s not pretty, but he ignores the cats, he lets the chicken live in peace, he sleeps on the back porch rug, and he doesn’t jump or lick.
He’s welcome to stay as long as he needs us. I sorta’ like the ugly fella.
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