“Don’t get too comfortable, you’re not staying“ I said firmly to the chubby Rottweiler puppy that managed to firmly ensconce himself into the dirty laundry basket. He looked at me, uncertain of the tone of my voice and desperately trying to balance a sock on his head.
His owner had implored me to watch him for a while; “Please” he had said, “you’re home all day long and I have to drive to New Jersey to give an estimate on a landscaping job”.
“I’m home all day long, recuperating from spine surgery, I don’t have the presence of mind for a puppy”
“All he does is sleep, he’s a good puppy, I’ll be back, 6:30, 7 pm the latest”
That was four months ago. The puppy was still here. The owner had ceased to return my text messages and phone calls.
Pain was beginning to surge into my legs and my back started to spasm. I sat down, defeated.
He readily left the basket to secure a place between my legs with his huge head propped eagerly on my inner thigh.
“You expect head rubs don’t you?” I asked annoyed, that’s exactly what he expected. His brown eyes widened with glee. I patted his head. It wasn’t his fault he was abandoned. I wondered wryly if I could get him to understand me as well as I understood his gestures and mannerisms; to communicate in a secret language that only we understood.
“Dumb dog “I muttered, mostly to myself. “If I could get up and get my shoes, I would take you out”
He tilted his head as if trying to decipher my words. “I need shoes” I said angrily, angrier at the knowledge that I was unable to perform this simple task for myself than at the dog or task itself. Angry at myself; Angry at my current situation.
He took off then, his big head proportionately larger than the rest of him. He slid along the tiles of the hallway and into the kitchen before scratching his paws on the floor and turning into the front room.
“You dumb dog!” I called after him. I closed my eyes hoping it would help the pain subside a bit. A few more moments and I would get up again. A few more moments and there would be less pain.
He was nudging my hand. Push, shove, nudge, trying to put his fat head under my palm. Looking down, I saw him holding one of my sneakers by the laces. He was…