The Old Dog
There was an old, old Black Lab I used to see quite frequently on my walks. He was usually either simply staring at the front door, waiting to be let in, or puttering very slowly around the yard, trying to remember where the good pee spots were, I suppose. I think he must have been half deaf and blind, because one day, he was taking a rather noisy snooze in the sun, two feet away from the sidewalk, and never batted an ear when I said hi to him.
He was still all dog, though. One day, I found him meandering right on the sidewalk, looking very worried, and I wondered if he had forgotten his way to the front door. Figuring I’d have to lead him back home, I knelt down and asked him if he was okay. He slowly looked at me, looked back at the house, back at me, and apparently decided he had to do his duty as the protector of the family. He stood anxiously panting for a few breaths, then warily filled his lungs, and gathering all his strength, he barked… one time at me.
He seemed very pleased with himself after that, and headed quite jauntily back up to the house, proud that he had fulfilled his doggly responsibility. I told him that I was quite proud of him too, and he took one last look back over his shoulder at me, with a happy expression that said, “I did good, didn’t I?”
I have not seen him all summer, so am assuming he’s died. That’s too bad; he was a good dog.