An unexpected visitor

It was Thursday, 23 May 2002.  I walked to school.  About halfway there a little reddish dog with a twisting tail started following me. 
I tried to ignore him, couldn’t completely as there was some traffic and I didn’t want to be responsible for him getting hit.  He passed up several other pedestrians to stick with me.  When I got to the door of North Quad I had to make a decision.  Would I let him in to my office and call animal control, or would i shut him out of the building?  He was awfully thin, reminded me of a dog found half-starved whose picture was in the paper the week before.  Being so thin, with his red fur and pointy ears, he almost looked more like a fox than a puppy.  So I let him into the office. 
The class was very small, just 8 students; that happens sometimes in the summer.  At that time my office was in a room off a little conference area.  The class met in that area.  So the dog came into the classroom with me. 
It was a 95 minute class.  Throughout it the students were playing with the dog and telling storis about dogs who had followed them.   From the table where we sat you could see out the window to the southwest entrance to the building.  We all glanced out that window from time to time, hoping that animal control would get there.  Class ended and animal control still hadn’t shown up.  A student got up to leave.  He opened the door, and the dog ran out.  We all jumped up to herd him back into the room.  Glancing over my shoulder at the window, I saw him bolt out. 
I don’t know if it was the same dog, but starting a few weeks later I would occasionally see a very similar little dog, same shade of red, same twist in his tail, following a homeless man around the neighborhood I lived in at the time.  I saw them together scores of times.  It was a couple of years before I saw the homeless man without the dog.  I asked the man what had happened to him.  He lit up and described the good home he’d found for the dog.  A nice house, fenced-in yard, and a loving family.  Then he went back about his business, picking up cans off the street.   
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4 Comments

  1. cymast

     /  November 13, 2008

    Hooray for good people! And good dogs!

  2. acilius

     /  November 13, 2008

    He was a good dog. I’m only sorry his benefactor couldn’t find a home for himself.

  3. cymast

     /  November 13, 2008

    I’ve read some homeless people prefer to be homeless. Sounds reasonable. Lots of freegans are homeless. I’d have considered that route if I weren’t so spoiled, vain, self-centered, and materialistic.

  4. acilius

     /  November 13, 2008

    This guy was certainly more upbeat than most homeless people I know. I doubt he really preferred homelessness, though.

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