“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Prov. 17:22)
“Would you look at that?”
It was the kind faced lady again. Her voice woke me up.
“That little rascal dragged his bowl out there next to him under that tree.”
What was wrong with that? I thought it was proper for a gentleman to pick up after himself.
“Well, dog or no dog, I have got to mow that field today,” the voice of Raymond said.
“If you do go mow, at least take your pistol with you just in case. We still don’t know if he’s mean or not.”
I was wondering, “What’s a pistol?” when the back door opened, and a big round man with a cane limped out and walked to a bright red, funny looking horse and climbed in the saddle.
Vroom! The red horse said as the big round man eased himself down into the saddle and turned a key. Vroom, Vroom! The horse began to shake and move slowly toward the big gate.
The kind face lady came out and opened the gate as the big red horse moved out into my field.
Vroom, Vroom, Vroom!
That was the loudest and slowest horse I had ever seen, and it was coming straight toward me! I crouched low and lay still, hoping it would not see me under the tree.
And suddenly, it had passed me by. Shaking the ground, chewing up grass, and spitting it out as it went.
So that was what mowing meant.
As it continued down the field, I realized this was my chance for a proper introduction. I ran up behind the big round man on the funny red horse and trotted politely in step behind it.
Wagging my tail with all of my might, I cleared my throat.
“Ahem. AHEM. Excuse me sir, but I would like to introduce myself. Sir? Sir?”
But the roar of the horse was too loud for anyone to hear. Suddenly, I could hear the silver haired lady yelling loudly.
“Raymond, look behind you!”
The big man turned with a start and looked at me. So, this was Raymond. My tail wagged even faster. A big smile slowly spread across his face as he turned and continued to mow.
Maybe he had heard my introduction after all. I trotted politely behind the big red horse up and down that field, until it had chewed up and spit out all the grass there was.
As the big red horse made its way toward the gate, I decided it was time to make my exit. I didn’t want to push things too far.
I trotted back to my spot under the tree and noticed my bowl was gone. I looked toward the gate and there stood the silver haired lady with my bowl in one hand and something else in the other.
Mr. Raymond turned a key, and the big red horse became silent and still.
“I’ve got some weenies. I wonder if he will eat some weenies.”
Did she say weenies? That stirred some memories as my mouth began to water.
“Be careful Glenda.” Mr. Raymond said. “Just throw one toward him at first and see what he does.”
So my angel’s name was Glenda. I felt a love fill my heart like I had never known. I thought my heart was going to burst.
Tears filled my eyes as every instinct that the Creator put in me let me know that this was the one that I was to be dedicated to. The one I would lay down my life for, if need be.
Next to finding a home, this was the greatest desire of every dog: to find that one special person to be dedicated to.
As she came closer, my tail began to wag as fast as it could. She threw the weenie, and I gobbled it up as it landed in front of me.
My wagging tail must have given her a feeling of safety, for she walked even closer holding another weenie out for me to take.
Very gently I went closer and took the weenie out of her hand with my small front teeth, and ever so politely ate it while standing just out of arms reach.
I felt that now was the time for our proper introduction.
“Ahem” I cleared my throat and spoke ever so politely. “Excuse me, Ms. Glenda, but I would like to introduce myself.”
Ms. Glenda stood up straight with the funniest look on her face.
“Did you hear that?” She exclaimed.
“He grunted just like a pig! He went oink, oink, oink just like a little pig. He’s a little pig dog!”
A PIG! She just called me a PIG DOG!
If it wasn’t for her sweet smile and kind face, I might have been offended.
I retreated back to the security of my cedar tree. The big red horse came back to life with a Vroom and carried Mr. Raymond through the gate and back up to the house. Ms. Glenda shut the gate and they both went inside.
What a terrible chain of events. A pig dog indeed!
That was how I always sounded when I used my polite, inside voice. Oh, I could bark all right. I called that my STAY AWAY, ALARM voice. But that is just not appropriate for a formal introduction.
Oh no, perhaps they don’t want a dog that sounds like a pig. I heaved a big sigh, what else could possibly go wrong?
As it turned out, I had been worried for nothing. Ms. Glenda came back out at evening and set my bowl outside the gate of the fence. As soon as she had gone back inside, I ran to the bowl and found it full of tasty food.
My trying to introduce myself had not ruined my chances after all. I finished eating, picked up my bowl with my teeth, and carried it back to my spot under the tree.
I lay there with it between my paws and thought to myself, “I’ll not make the same mistake twice.”
I woke up early the next morning. After stretching and yawning, I licked myself so that my fur would be the cutest and fluffiest as possible.
I picked up my bowl, walked to the gate, and sat down with my bowl beside me. And I waited. I didn’t have long to wait.
I could hear Ms. Glenda’s voice through the kitchen window.
“Raymond, you have got to come here and see this. I watched that dog take his bowl back out under the tree last night, but now he has brought it back to the gate and he’s sitting out there beside it looking at me through the window. I guess he wants breakfast.”
Breakfast would be great, but I hadn’t even hoped for that much! I was just trying to be polite concerning the bowl.
“Well, you had better feed him then,” said Mr. Raymond.
It wasn’t long before my silver haired angel appeared with another bowl of delicious food and set it down outside the gate for me to eat.
I knew by those wonderful smells the first night that this had to be a place of tasty meals. And looking at the size of Mr. Raymond, I now knew that it was also a place where no one goes hungry.
While gulping down the food, I could overhear a conversation going on between Mr. Raymond and Ms. Glenda.
“Well, it’s all right with me if we keep him. It’s pretty clear that he’s not going to leave, and we know that he has a good nature,” Mr. Raymond said.
“But here are the rules. If we let him in the yard, he can sleep on the covered porch until we get a doghouse. And not much petting and no playing until we can get him his shots and let the vet check him out. OK, go ahead and let him in if you want to.”
The back door opened and Ms. Glenda came walking toward the gate. “Hooray, this is it! I’m going to have a home.” I thought
“A covered porch and maybe a doghouse, plenty of food and water. I don’t know what a vet or a shot is, but how bad could that be?”
As she got closer, my tail began wagging harder than ever, and I couldn’t keep my feet still. I was prancing and dancing.
“Hi baby, do you want to come inside with Mama? Let Mama open the gate and you can come inside and be our little dog.”
With what I had been through those gates seemed like the gates of Heaven. She opened them and I ran into the Promised Land.
My instincts took over in this new place as I ran from flowers to trees to bushes, claiming and marking my territory. After all, the silver haired lady with the kind face had made it official.
She had called me baby and her Mama. I guess that made the big round man…
“Daddy,” Mama called. “You had better go sit out on the front porch; he’s coming your way.”
Up close, the little gray house seemed like a mansion.
As I came around the side of the house, past the big yard swing and the bird feeder, through the flower garden (I found out later, that was a “no, no” place for me), I could see Daddy sitting in a big, white rocker on a long covered porch.
“Come here, boy.” He said, as he held out his arms.
My heart swelled with love again to the point of bursting when he called me “boy”. I ran to his arms with my tail wagging as he patted my head and scratched behind my ears and under my chin.
I was home. I had found the desire of my heart.
I spent the rest of the day exploring my new surroundings, and I slept that night on the porch by the front door.
I had my STAY AWAY! bark ready, just in case.
My family was inside and I wasn’t going to let anything happen to them.
The next day, Mama left in a big black truck and came back later with two silver bowls that she said belonged to me.
She filled one with water and the other with food and set them on the porch, and laid out a nice soft blanket for me to sleep on.
I thanked them again and again from the bottom of my heart in the most polite of terms, but they just laughed and talked about how cute and unusual my “pig language” was.
Daddy took off the tight leather collar with the rusty wire and put a new black one around my neck with shiny paw prints drawn on it.
I found out there was someone else in the family, too. His name was Brother. He was tall and slim and quiet. We would later become great friends and have wonderful adventures together.
And there was something else strange that was beginning to happen. I was starting to have unusual feelings about Daddy. Not feelings of fear or danger, but rather that somehow he needed my help.
Maybe there was a reason that I had no memories of my past life. Perhaps there wasn’t enough room in my little head for all of those bad memories along with the thoughts of this good new life that was to come.
At first I had thought the Creator had brought me here so that they could rescue me, but I was beginning to believe that He had brought me here so that I could rescue them.