Storytime: The dog house

·3 min read
Lorry Myers
Lorry Myers

I heard the click of her nails on the kitchen tile before I saw her face. I didn’t get up and rush to meet her because I feel like I have done this all before. So I just sit in my chair and wait for her to make an entrance.

Rosanna Rosanna Danna is back in town.

Rosie peeks around the corner and glares at me; she knows something’s up. She is an Old English Bulldog with slobber on her jaw and lazy in her walk. My son loves all living creatures, but especially he loves this dog.

I am trying to do that too.

I am not an animal person and animals are not that crazy about me. I never had childhood pets and limited my involvement with the adopted kittens my daughter talked her dad into letting her keep. Over the years, there was only one dog we ever called our own.

And she wasn’t even our dog.

My son is the dog worshiper in the family and is faithful to the Old English Bulldog breed. Taylor loves their quirky personalities, steady devotion and that they’re content to lie on the couch and watch football. Taylor doesn’t mind that he has to lift Rosie to get her into his truck or that taking her for a walk means carrying her most of the way.

He’d do anything for Rosie.

Now, Taylor’s job is taking him out on the road. Even though there is a boarding kennel near his Memphis home, he wants Rosie someplace where she gets a goodnight kiss, a morning belly rub and daily one-sided conversations.

Some place like home.

This is not the first time we’ve taken in my son’s dog when his job took him away. There was another dog, a long time ago, that came to us at the end of her life and we loved her to death.

Rocks Ann walked through the door, just like Rosie, her nails clicking on the kitchen tile as she wiggled her way into my heart. Me — who had never loved an animal before and vowed never to do it again.

Now another bulldog was sitting in my kitchen.

I watched as Taylor unloaded his truck and brought in Rosie’s things. A plaid bed, a sturdy kennel and a gigantic sack of food that boasts of natural ingredients. There were tasty treats, leather chews and dog toys with tags still attached. I found drops for her eyes, medicine for her allergies and a leather collar engraved with her name. Rosie has favorite pillows and stinky blankets — and even a toothbrush for the pointed teeth that hang over her lip.

Oh boy.

When my son finally gave that last belly rub, Rosie simply licked Taylor’s hand and whimpered soft and low. Taylor let out a sigh and thanked me with a kiss before jumping in his truck and driving away.

Leaving this dog behind.

When the truck disappeared, I saw Rosie turn and look at me, and I was reminded of another dog with that same sadness in her eyes when her master left. Rosie reminds me of the last dog; the first one that came and stayed.

When that old bulldog died, we talked about her like she was still alive, so Taylor very quickly brought home another bulldog. Now my son is on the road again, something he never planned for, and I find myself with something I never planned for either.

A dog.

It took a little while for Rosie to quit pouting, but the dog seemed to perk up when Taylor called and I held the phone to her ear. Later, I heard those nails on the kitchen tile and watched Rosie enter the living room as I held out my hand in invitation. Rosie wiggled in a way that said she had decided to give this a try.

She’s not the only one.

You can reach Lorry at Lorrysstorys@gmail.com.

This article originally appeared on Columbia Daily Tribune: Storytime: The dog house

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