His dreamy eyes (I call them goo goo eyes) look at me as though he’s known me forever. His heart bursts open with uninhibited love every time I walk through the door, jumping for joy to see me. For years I’ve wondered what made this little dog choose me to be his mom when he had his pick of contenders. I ask him that question repeatedly and all he does is look deep into my eyes, smile and wag his tail.
In June Pogo and I will celebrate nine years as a family. June 9, to be exact, the day before my birthday during a fateful evening walk around the neighborhood. I’d been hearing stories of a little brown dog that showed up, sneaking around at night devouring food left outside by sympathetic neighbors. But he’d let no-one touch him. Until June 9. When we laid eyes on each other for the first time.
Then he jumped all over me like he’d been searching a lifetime for ME! I sat down in the street and the little guy smothered me with affection, rolling upside down in my lap, covering my face with sloppy kisses. If he could speak he’d have screamed, OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY!!! I FOUND YOU!
Deep in my soul I think I know where Pogo came from. Now for the back story…
More than 10 years ago my neighbors’ house burned down, the tragic result of a living room candle flame gone awry. That fire stole much of what those people held dear — from photos to wedding presents to pets. They lost a cat and a dog in the tragedy, rendering themselves numb and the rest of the neighborhood.
I was traumatized too, not only because such a horrible thing instantly wiped out a lifetime of collections for my friendly neighbors, but because their dog and I had a special bond. Spike was my walking buddy. He was a precious miniature Schnauzer with a giant personality and feisty spirit. Everyday he waited for me to pass his house during my walks so he could accompany me home for hugs and treats.
He had this quirky little trot as we made our way to my house. In the middle of a run he’d lift his back right leg and hop on the remaining three until we reached the corner. He did this often enough to inspire me to check into his health only to learn that the vet was as perplexed by the behavior as we were. He never found anything wrong with that leg. It was just a “Spike thing” I suppose, a trait that endeared him to me even more. In fact, Nanette often teased me that she’d know exactly where to look should Spike “forget” to come home sometime. My heart was broken when my little friend was taken from our lives and I mourned his loss for months.
Fast forward a year or so to my historic walk around the neighborhood that lucky evening on June 9, when Pogo and I met. From that day on we’ve walked the neighborhood together just about everyday.
And for the first few months as we’d pass Nanette’s and Spike’s now rebuilt home, Pogo would pick up his back right leg and hop to the corner.
And now you have the whole story. No kidding