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I once told a woman at Heritage Park that I was gonna snatch her chihuahua, throw him in my car and drive off while she wasn’t looking.

I could see the whole thing in my head:  the acquiescent dog.  The heat of the sun on another damn perfect Colorado day.   Tires squealing and gravel spraying as I punched it out of that parking lot down past the ball field.   We would be happy together, Spanky and I.

The lady snickered.  Maybe she thought she could take me.  But then she told a poignant story of love, loss and redemption at the shelter and I knew that she and Spanky were meant to be together.

I find pets remarkable for various reasons.  Spanky caught my eye because he’d come to the park with a woman, a child and another small dog but once there he’d seek out every adult present and sit with them for a minute or so.

He sat beside or just in front of each one.   He faced in the same direction.  He didn’t schmooze, he didn’t make requests.  He didn’t smile or wag or clap the tambourine.  What he was, was present.

I saw him approach a lone dad and sit.   The man bent and gave the little dog a brief skritch.  Spanky waited.  The man straightened.   They gazed together into the distance.  It was meditative. 

A minute or so passed and the thing was complete.  Without fanfare the dog trotted off.  Company had been kept and the separation was seamless.  The man was bemused.

When each adult had been tended to, Spanky returned to his person’s side.  I oogled at him but I’d already had my turn and that was that.  Try as I might, I would not be granted another.

 

 

 

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