As Kathie and I left my brother Tom’s house one Sunday night, on our way to our old Voyager van, we were met by two stray dogs wandering toward us from a neighbor’s yard. The smaller of the two dogs, a shepherd-type variety, came right up to us, ready to make friends.
The other dog had first captured my attention because it was the size of a deer fawn. It hung back with reserve. Extremely gaunt from lack of food, his ribs protruded from fleshless sides. The most in need of the two dogs, he was also the most wary of our intentions. He hesitated when we coaxed him to us. Being discouraged and shooed away many times were probably the least of his problems.
Both dogs were collarless. As dogs and humans sized up each other, we arrived at the unspoken understanding that they were abandoned. The deer-dog came closer and sniffed toward my outstretched fist but kept his distance.
I smiled at Tom and quoted one of my favorite British comedies, “Someone’s left half a camel or something in the driveway.”
We decided to put the situation to my other brother, Jim, instead of calling the dog warden. For years, Jim has been taking in stray cats and dogs, an expensive proposition because he usually gives them all veterinary care that includes having them neutered.
When I told him about the dogs at Tom’s, he came back with, “I’m down to eight dogs, now. I could take them, I guess. I have enough houses.”
All my family are suckers for animals in distress. The shepherd-mix never showed up again, but Tom found deer-dog hanging around. The dish of dry cat food Tom leaves for his outside cat was, now always empty, (outside kitty was suddenly much more demanding in his communications), and deer-dog had evidently decided this was the ideal place to set up camp.
(to be continued)