Are you like me?  Whenever I’m just watching my surroundings or listening to conversations going on around me I am drawn in if I hear the word ‘dog’, ‘cat’, or anything that sounds like someone is talking about their pet. “Tiffany shredded the toilet paper again” or “Brutus got into the garbage and ate the Cheezits wrapper” gets my attention like nothing else.  THERE’S an animal lover!!  Or if I happen to see someone walking their dog while I’m driving?  Well, let’s just say that a smile plops itself on my face and I tend to watch the two of them (human and pet) like they’re lovers who have finally found each other.  I’m totally owned by fur.

When I was young my mother put me in baton lessons.  (We got to wear those little sparkley swim-suit looking things that made my 9 year old mind think I was a Diva….mine was bright blue sequined bliss!)  The thing is, I didn’t care about being a Diva or about my baton lessons – at least I COULDN’T care.  I had noticed a dog that was tied up behind the building that never had a fresh bowl of water.  Every week when my mom would drop me off for lessons, I would go check on that dog to see if she (he?) had water.  It was a friendly dog, tail always wagging.  She was dirty and matted, but I didn’t care.  Someone had left her tied up and forgotten and it was my job to take care of her while I was there.  Sometimes I couldn’t find the bowl so I would walk up and down the alley in my blue sparkley outfit until I found an old can and fill it from someones house hose (it’s amazing I never got in trouble).  She drank every time I gave her water … like someone was saving her life somehow.  And her little tail never stopped wagging while she was drinking.  I imagined it was her way of saying ‘thank’ when it went one way and ‘you’ on the way back.  “thank you!” “thank you!” “thank you!”  Once she was not thirsty anymore I could go and be my little Diva self and learn not to drop my baton while marching in place.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of that dog over the past 45 years.  I hope I was able to give her a little love and hope – she certainly gave that to me.

The Pet Parlor - Northwest Indiana

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