I’ve befriended several dogs who live on farms along my paper delivery route. One in particular intrigued and amused me last week. I’d seen a mid-sized dog up by a house several times but it had never ventured down to the car. Each day, though, curiosity would bring it closer.
Finally the dog made the big bold move. It came around the car and begged for affection. It was a black half-grown terrier pup, with awkwardly long legs and a squirmy demeanor. I was reminded of Airedales I’ve known. I petted the creature and it tried to jump up in my lap. I laughed, shooed it away, and continued on my way.
The next day the young dog appeared again, confident this time of a favorable reception. I petted the dog, then got out of the car to put the flasher light on the roof, as this was the beginning of the route. While I was occupied the pup scrambled into the back seat, found a comfortable position, then looked out at me as if to say, “So what are you waiting for! Let’s go!”
I was tempted, as it would be fun to have a canine companion on the delivery route. I could stop when I saw road-killed animals and let the pup nose the delectable smashed carrion and take a bite or two. I thought better of this idea, though, as I had never even met the owners and they might take it amiss.
Later that day I came over a rise in a long straight stretch of road and nearly ran over a nondescript farm dog. It didn’t even try to get out of the way, just looked at my car with a puzzled expression as I stood on the brakes. I realized that the dog was grizzled and old, and that it was probably partially blind and maybe deaf.
The next day the same thing happened. The dog had a dangerous and possibly lethal habit: standing around out in the middle of the road. I swerved around the perpetually puzzled dog and continued on my way. When I came back there the dog was again. I pulled up alongside it and matched my speed with the dog’s as it slowly trotted along the road. It kept looking back at me, as if to say, “Are you coming or not? Follow me and I’ll show you a pleasant shady place up by the Master’s house!”
I took a photo through the windshield. Perhaps I should wash that window one of these days!