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He was big and red, short hair, one blue eye and one brown.  Plucked from the flood in New Orleans in August of 2005, Jock was athletic and impressive. Truly, he viewed like a veterinary anatomy lesson, the week they studied the musculature.

He came to Colorado in a big truck with a bunch of other characters; he was up for adoption in Boulder when my friend came upon him and soon he had a new home.

Shortly thereafter he told me his story:  his person in New Orleans was a young man who owned a salvage yard.  The man had a wife, a couple of kids and another dog that was smaller and black. Jock was meant to be a guard dog but he didn’t have the temperament for it: too congenial. Still, they kept him and he and the little dog became friends.

They had lived outdoors, in a biggish chain-link enclosure outside a modest, worn, one-story white house. Built in the 40’s or 50’s and the roof was green. When the water came Jock jumped onto the roof of a dog house but the little black dog drowned, pretty quick.  Jock missed him but in his dog way he got the magnitude of what was happening all around him; he told me lots of things died. Many people walked away from their pets in New Orleans and to Jock at least, this was unremarkable.

They found him in a tree.  He’d managed to swim a ways after the water cleared his enclosure. There was no shortage of trees in the neighborhood; he showed me how in his lumbering way he came upon a horizontal branch above the water then found there was another branch below the water line that he used to heave himself onto the branch.  If the tree had been smaller it wouldn’t have worked.

Who saved him?  He told me, there was a boat.  They had to coax and then force him; he wasn’t happy about any of it, not even them.  Two men in it and he heard them talking about what they’d seen.  They were happy to rescue him but he said they were sad. One of them kept crying.  

He showed me that they weren’t with a rescue organization.  Just two guys in a boat, trying to help.

Next Up: Jock Starts Talking




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