To look at me, you wouldn't have been impressed.
Twice as long as I was high, with a furry,
drumstick tail, and piercing black eyes that were
full of confusion.
I was an accident victim.
Tattered and shaking, I had been left in the
gutter, with fur that felt like wet strands of
hay. Blood had matted my silky, salt-and-pepper
coat, transforming me into papier-mâché. The wind
brushing my face whispered that I could no longer
be brave and bold. At that point, escaping from
harm would have to wait.
When some teenage rescuers finally spotted me, my
stare showed sorrow and pain. The teens formed a
protective circle around me, carrying me to the
nearest home. There, gentle hands softly poked and
prodded me while I plotted my exit.
"Someone's looking after you, little buddy. I
don't think anything's broken. A little TLC and
you'll be fine." The voice was soothing. Others
present were silent.
Getting up with some difficulty, I took what I
felt was my last look at kindness. I noticed
moisture in the eyes of this unfamiliar family.
Maybe it was the strange warmth that surrounded
all of us, a very different feeling for a
street-waif pup. I felt safe.
The young children christened me Scruffy. I didn't
protest. I'd give them a chance.
Though my paws were small, the muscles in my legs
propelled a swift punch when needed. Protecting
and soothing the little ones was my appointed
task. I took this charge very seriously. My
fugitive philosophy was simple. If I didn't
recognize you, be prepared for a nip and nudge,
unless instructed to allow closeness. Our babies
remained safe at all costs.
Of course, my day was quite full with other
priorities as well. Pacing the backyard perimeter
in guard- dog fashion was clearance to grant the
children outside access. Then, my deep-in-thought
stare assured that they and others knew who was
In between all of that came inhaling food,
hide-and-seek adventures, power naps on the top
rim of the couch, jogging with my lamb's wool toy,
walks and silently stealing the love of all who
gazed upon me.
Then one day, something unexpected happened. There
was a commotion at the front door. It was our dad.
He had been out running and was attacked by a
stray Akita. Arms outfitted in gauze bandages
signaled an unpleasant ER visit. I gazed up at him
and recognized that vacant look in his eyes.
I scuffled my way up the stairs to the bedroom,
trying not to make too much noise. Jarring the
door aside and then quickly hopping to the space
next to him, I slowly approached, licked his face
and rested my head on his chest. So, this is what
tears were all about. It was my time to offer