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Rated: E · Poetry · Animal · #2219104
Boots, the best damned dog I've ever shared my life with.
I remember the newspaper add that day
like it was only yesterday.
It read;
"Free to a good home,
mixed breed puppies.
Mother was a Terrier,
Father was a Travelin' Man!"

My wife and I died laughing at it
that day in the Texas Panhandle,
so since we wanted a puppy,
we made a phone call,
and soon had in our home
what the owner said
HAD to be the UGLIEST little mutt
he ever saw.

Yeah, that female puppy
WAS so ugly she was beautiful,
but what a SMILE she had!

Pat and I fell in love with her at first sight,
which was fate,
because SHE fell in love with us, too.

Times were hard back then;
I was working fourteen hour days,,
six days a week
helping to build a refinery
in that small town
for Philllips 66,
so Pat spent her days
alone with Boots
as we named her.

Boots was a godsend to us.

She'd wait by our front door
for hours
until I came home,
then jump all over me,
licking my face
and wagging her bushy tail
a million times a second.

I remember coming home one day
covered from head to toe
in black soot from the inside of a vessel,
trying to open the door,
only to be halted
by the meanest snarl
I'd ever heard,
barked at
by that ugly little bitch---
she would NOT let me in
until Pat took her by her colllar
and reassured Boots
that was only her Daddy home.

I didn't think dogs
understood human speech
until that night,
but I found myself
on the receiving end
of the greatest make up
kisses a dog ever gave.

Well,
three years rolled on by;
I got a job as a janitor
at the local junior college,
joined the National Guard,
we moved into a mobile home
on the better side of town
where Boots had a fenced in yard
to play in,
and life was grand
for the three of us.

Then one day,
as the sun shone brightly,
Pat got a phone call
from the nursing home
in Wakefield, Kansas
where she worked
before we were married;
seems they'd missed her all this time,
they wanted her back,
and they even offered a house for us
to rent when we moved.

It was an offer too good to refuse,
so we loaded up
that old Buick Electrra,
and headed north by northeast
along winding country roads.
to that tiny Kansas town
where we started our new life;
Pat, Boots and me.

It wasn't easy for us,
the car broke down badly
and we couldn't get it fixed
so the junk yard got it,
the house itself
turned out to be a basement apartment
that was cold as hell in winter,
hotter than an oven in summer,
but we somehow kept on going.

I had transferred to the Kansas Guard
up in Clay Center,
the county seat;
those two days a month,
two weeks in the summer
really helped us make ends meet,
and Boots was happy
to be with us.

I asked around
for a local vet to spay Boots
once we got on our feet,
and was directed to a quack
who'd best remain nameless,
because our beloved Boots,
the ugliest little bitch that ever was,
developed an infection
immediately after the botched operation
and died in his office.

We were devastated
to the point where her name
was never again spoken,
we never got another dog
in over seventeen years
we were together,
and her picture
had a place of high honor
wherever we lived. . . .

Our marriage didn't last,
I messed it up,
and one of the last things
Pat ever said to me
was that Boots would have been ashamed
of the way I'd hurt her Mommy.

It about killed me.

I've had other dogs
since the end of Pat and I,
but none EVER came close
to that ugly little bitch-dog
we got that day
in the Texas Panhandle.

RIP Boots;
I'll see you in Heaven someday!
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