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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2091375-Left-Or-Right
Rated: E · Short Story · Pets · #2091375
Make good choices and things just seem to work out right.
I was fishing down at the river one day when I heard a noise rustling in the bushes on the bank across the way. Maybe a deer? Maybe a very noisy squirrel? Another glance up from the river’s waters and I see a cute little dog sitting across the stream from me, contently watching me trying to catch a fish. I went downstream and the dog followed. Then he ran off back into the woods. It was soon time to go, so I headed back to my truck. And guess what. The dog was sitting there waiting for me. He had no collar, no dog tag, and seemed to be lost. But he seemed very happy to see me. Some people in the backwoods of the area have this terrible habit of leaving dogs off in the woods when they can no longer be a good owner for whatever reason or if the dog is in its last days of life. While I worried that he was lost, I thought to myself that he must live at a house nearby and comfortably reasoned that he’d eventually find his way back home. After I loaded my fishing gear into the truck, I started to head on my way back home. And there in the middle of the big road was that same little dog. So I stopped. I just couldn't let him run around in the middle of the road like this. So into my truck he went.
He was dirty and stinky. When we got to the house, I decided to give him a bath. The fur on his rear end was matted so badly with his own waste that I used scissors to slowly clip away the mess. This dog whom I had just met, shivered a bit in the tub’s water, but remained still and looked up at me with calm eyes, like he knew that I was doing a good thing.
And he was hungry. Very hungry. I had saved a ham bone from a family holiday dinner to use in making stock for a meal of my own. Well, plans change. I did feed him some other human doggie food, but all that I remember was the sight of him, lying on his belly, chewing on a bone that was half his own body’s length.
I didn't know the dog's name, so I called him Dirty Harry, because when I found him, he was 'dirty' and 'hairy'.
I couldn’t keep Harry at my home forever. It was a rental and dogs were not allowed.
So Harry only stayed with me for two weeks. The bills don’t pay themselves and I had to work. But what to do with the dog? Being a guy, I constructed a fence out of old wood boards and chicken wire scraps, enclosing a section of the house’s deck. When I came home from work that first day, Harry was gone. I slowly peered over the edge of the deck, fearing that Harry had taken a twenty-foot, ill-advised leap of freedom. But after examining further evidence, it seemed that Harry had scaled my homemade Wall of China. He was gone. I had lost a lost dog. How bad is that. Well dammit, I was determined that this story would have a story book ending. So I drove around for hours throughout the neighborhood, looking for any signs of my lost lost dog. That night, I slept with lights on so he could easily see the house. But in the morning, still no Harry. I created “Lost Dog” flyers and posted them at the Post Office and the local grocery store, hoping that someone had seen him.
The next morning, a lady called and said that she had found Harry. We made a plan to meet at the grocery store so that I could get my Harry back. Harry back, get it? As she drove into the parking lot, I could see Harry beaming excitement out of the passenger window, with one of those doggie smiles that says “I know that I screwed up, but you loves me anyways”. But knowing that I couldn't keep Harry forever, I asked her if she knew anyone that would like to have Harry as their very own. She looked at me with a puzzled expression. "My kids absolutely LOVE the dog...in fact, my son just asked me on the phone if the 'fluffy' dog was still there at our house". It only seemed right that Harry should go with this wonderful family. So I gave Harry to Cheryl (the mom) and down the road they went.
Harry could have gone upstream instead of down, I could of let him stay there in the road and just gone back home. Left or right. Make good choices and things just seem to work out right.
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