Sure, he looks good from the back, but he's a pretty ugly fella sometimes…
But when he looks at me just so…
…good gravy, when he looks at me like that he can come into the house in any ol' rainstorm.
We adored the old fella for the four months he needed us. We waited in the mornings while he worked out the kinks in his old legs, we looked the other way when he was unable to fight the urge to chase a cat harmlessly up a tree on occasion, we tolerated his ever-present, always-disgusting slobber, and..yes…I let him in the laundry room during thunderstorms because he's such a big baby about such things. I couldn't resist his whine and his sad eyes.
In return, he never bothered to so much as sniff at the chicken pen, he 'marked' our yard against other dogs, and he hung out with the kids while they swam in the river.
You probably caught that I said, "for the four months he needed us." Pnut doesn't need us anymore.
One day, about a month ago, one of our neighbors came by and said, "Pnut's owner came calling for him."
"Oh?" I said. In my mind, I called the fella a dirty rotten scoundrel, since he never picked Pnut up after I'd phoned him in February.
"Yeah. He said he was working on an engine in February when it blew up in his face. He's been in Thomas Hospital for the past three months, with 2nd and 3rd degree burns."
Oh. Poor guy.
I'm thankful Pnut turned to us when he needed care for those few months. But I'm even more thankful he keeps coming around.
We see him a couple of times a week, when he runs at
us with floppy ears, a floppier mouth and crooked gait, as excited to
see us as we are to see him. And then he's off again, across the
river or down the road, on his persistent journey to experience all there
is to sniff and see.