"A Good Old Boy: A Dog's True Tale"
by gayla mills
I'm the kind of guy who appreciates a cool drink, a lazy romp, and listening to the breeze blow through the willow trees. So you can imagine how my dignity has suffered after all I've endured this past year, but my fine breeding and easy-going style have helped me through my troubles.
It all began a year ago on one of those sultry Richmond evenings. While others were enjoying their front porches and river views, I was reduced to begging for a meal. A kind lady noticed me as I wandered despondently through her neighborhood, but I was ashamed to see her gazing at my bedraggled frame. My fine blond hair was worn thin and patchy from neglect; my ribs, I'm embarrassed to say, were prominently featured. These were nothing compared to my greatest suffering - my eyelids were turned inward, so my eyelashes scratched me at every turn. This caused tears to stream down my face in a steady flow, no matter how much I tried to overlook my discomfort. Another human would have left me to the streets, but she helped me to the county shelter.
After a few weeks there I was taken to the SPCA to have my eyes healed. Were they dismayed by my sad appearance? No sir. They simply gave me some chow and a hug and summoned a special eye doctor from North Carolina to examine me (why, some of the best families come from those parts). They decided to call me "Wink" because I used to blink my eyes so much before the surgery. The lady who first found me was keeping up with my progress, and she gallantly offered to pay for the operation.
After a few weeks of care, I felt like my old self again, I'll tell you what. But try as I did to get families to look at me, they kept passing me by for other dogs. I couldn't figure it out - here I was, handsome, gentle, friendly, and playful - and only 2 years old. Yet people always seemed to go for those ill mannered little pupsters, the itty-bitty ones who pee on everything but have those big helpless eyes. So, feeling rejected and underappreciated, I sat on the floor of my concrete cage and dreamed of a good porch to relax on, with a timely pat coming from my human now and again.
Just when I thought my life had to improve, I noticed that familiar burning in my eyes. The first surgery wasn't enough to prevent my eyelids from turning against me a second time. I couldn't believe this was happening again, no sir. But the SPCA folks clearly recognized my distinguished qualities and paid to have me operated on again. This time the surgery was a complete success. Daddy would've been proud.
I felt after 11 months of confinement that I'd suffered enough. Despite all the efforts of the people who gave me walks, hugs, and biscuits, I needed a real home. I overheard the staff talking about their efforts to help me - they had talked about me on the radio and had my picture on the web for months. I reckon life isn't just, if someone like me can be overlooked for so long.
But one day I met a young fellow who I knew was the right person for me. He was a quiet guy with a playful gleam in his eye, just the sort to appreciate a good tug on a rope. Before I could say "mint julep", he had decided to take me home.
I now have a dog bed inside to call my own, and have learned good house manners thanks to my man. There's a Yorkie living with us who always takes my stick when I'm trying to fetch, so we get to tugging and growling and jumping the way good southern gentledogs should. I have a big yard to run in, which is my favorite thing to do, though I do love watching those Richmond sunsets too. Life is sweet now.