Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I was in the creek on our farm (literally IN the creek) when I heard a crashing, splashy, scary sound coming from behind me. I turned to see what was coming at me fearing a bear, runaway deer, or my brother. I was fully prepared to get out of the way, but waited to see where it was going first. Around the bend came this dog, running for dear life, howling and whimpering at the same time. He was running with absolute abandon, with water sloshing out of his way while he bore down on me like brain starved zombie. Without thinking about it, I crouched down with my arms spread wide, catching him at the chest as he ran straight into me. The poor animal was wide eyed, and terrified. I wasn't for a second worried that he would hurt me, and I don't know why. I really should have known better and my dad would have been really mad if he'd seen that my first instinct was not to flee, but to capture. My actions were vindicated when I realized that the pup's neck was tightly wrapped in a brown electrical cord that someone had torn from am appliance. I can only assume that the dog had been a nuisance to the last person this dog came in contact with and they had tried to choke it to death in order to get rid of it. Either that, or the idiot was too lazy to buy a chain, and tied him up with the cord. I realized the unearthly sound I had heard was the pup trying to breath while running at full speed to escape. Whatever had happened to him had just occurred, and now was the time to get the hell out of the creek and get back home. Anyone who would be so cruel to a dog, is not someone who I would benefit from meeting.
I had to use my teeth to loosen the cord from Smokey's neck. The dog needed a moniker, and his color suggested the black and grey smoke that wafted from the trash fires we lit once or twice a month. In my head he was already my dog. I was saving his life, and he was going to owe me! Once I got the cord loose, the dog seemed anxious to leave anyway, so I told him "Let's go!" and I started booking it for the house. He followed me without hesitation.
I don't really remember what happened next. The memory of catching Smokey is so crisp in my memory it could have happened yesterday, but what my father said to me is lost in my memory forever. I did get to keep him, however. My very own dog. He followed me everywhere I went, protected me from not a few snakes, and was a great exploring companion. The pictures above tell a great story. Jason and I are just getting off the bus from school, ready to make the 2.7 mile walk to the house from the bus stop, and there is my dog, waiting for me. He knew somehow when we were going to be there, and started walking to meet me. He did it every day that I went to school until one day he wasn't there anymore...