He doesn’t ask for much. A head scratch here and there. Some food a few times a day. Water in his bowl. A ride in the car now and then, and a walk every so often.
I was heading home from work one day when a shaggy mutt suddenly appeared in the middle of the small blacktop road that went past a local RV park. Instantly, I could see this was no ordinary stray, so I stopped my truck and opened the driver’s side door. He leapt up into the floorboard and made his way to a perch on the center console lid. I was surprised at his friendliness and the way he made himself right at home in my truck let me know this was not his first ride.
He easily relented to the tussle I gave his overgrown and scruffy head. His big (and somewhat obscured brown eyes) peered at me in ‘thanks’ from underneath the mop. After a quick search for a collar that came up empty, I assumed he was simply an escapee from one of the campers nearby. I had only missed the entrance of the RV park by about 20 or 30 feet, so I put my truck in reverse and told him to hold on. Pulling up to the manager’s office, a friendly older woman came to the window of my truck and asked how she could help me.
Thumbing at the scruffy little guy sitting straight up on my center console and now looking inquisitively at the both of us as if he understood the conversation, I said, “I found this little guy running down the middle of the street and figured he must belong to someone camping here.”
She responded by telling me he had been hanging around for almost two weeks, and she wasn’t sure where he came from. She said laughingly, “Looks like he’s your dog now.”
I smiled back in response, thanked her and proceeded to drive out of the park with my new friend happily surveying the area from his lofty perch as we wound our way back to the main road.
“Is it true? Are you my dog now?”
I chuckled at myself as I warmed up to the idea while looking his way out of the corner of my eye.
I turned back onto the main road, still questioning whether taking him home was the right thing for Jac and me at this time. Jac had only recently lost her little dog, Louie, after 17 years and I had sworn an oath that we were going to remain dog free for a while. Not that I don’t love these little creatures, but I was looking forward to not having the responsibility and upkeep of a pet for a bit.
I pulled into the driveway and let the little pooch out. He immediately started surveying the area with his inquisitive nose skimming the ground as he trotted around. I headed for the door of the house and Jac met me about halfway across the yard. She zoned in on the strange little beast bounding about behind me and asked where he came from.
“I have no idea,” I lied. (I still wasn’t convinced what to do about him and didn’t want to answer any questions that would lock me into pet ownership just yet.)
She walked over and kneeled down beside him, speaking sweetly and rubbing his head. She checked for a collar and said, “Surely he belongs to someone nearby.”
I repeated that I just didn’t know and headed towards the house. She continued to playfully jostle him about and speaking in puppy-baby talk while throwing out various questions and comments he was unlikely to answer.
“Who are you, little guy?
“Where did you come from?”
“I’m sure your mommy is missing her sweet boy!”
“What’s your name?”
She continued until I could no longer take it. I wheeled around and told her the whole sordid tale as she laughed at my silliness in trying to keep it from her. She may not have known all of the details, but she was pretty sure he showed up at the same time I did. (I simply cannot fool this chick, man).
It was 2014 when Roger waved me down, and I let him into my truck. Since then, he’s moved into our hearts as well.
We’re not sure how old he is exactly, but when we took him to our vet to have him checked out a few days later, she said he was probably about two years-old.
He’s showing his age a little more nowadays with a recent diabetes diagnosis and he’s not as spry as he once was.
But, he still loves his beach walks and gets excited for his car rides and acts like he hasn’t seen me in years when I walk through the door every evening.
As a family, we’ve had many adventures since that day, and God willing, we still have many more ahead of us.
If you’re reading this post, you probably have a furry best friend as well. Tell them Roger says, “Hi” and we will see you again in a few weeks.
Peace and Love
Roger and Me