Terrie and I were having lunch after church on Sunday, when we heard the sound of a nearby dog barking. From the depth of the dog’s voice we could tell it must be a big dog. We were puzzled because our neighbors to the left and to the right did not have dogs. I thought maybe a dog got into our backyard, so I went out the side garage door to check the backyard.
I was greeted by a large white dog (later to be identified as a Great Pyrenees) looking like he was surprised I was at home. I opened the gate to the backyard and stepped out asking him if he wanted to leave. He indicated he was happy where he was, so I shut the gate and started to talk to him as I walked toward him. I must have invaded his personal space, because he turned and headed to the shrubbery in the corner of the yard. I quickly realized he belonged to my neighbor behind me and he had crossed via an unknown hole in the fence. I relayed the information to Terrie and didn’t think any more about it. For some reason, Terrie nicknamed this all white dog “Rusty”.
The next night, while we were eating supper, we heard the barking again. I said, “I think that dog wants me to come out and visit with him again.” She agreed and I went out the side door of the garage. I saw that “Rusty” in the backyard. He seemed happy (he was smiling) and wanting to play. I was okay with that and started walking down the side of the house. It was then that I saw he had two friends with him. A chocolate Labrador (Hershey) walked directly to me demanding my attention. I was talking to him and patting his broad back. Then I noticed the third dog, who must have been the elder statesman. He was a black Labrador with a grey muzzle (Jefferson). I acknowledged him, but he seemed to be not as eager to meet me as did the chocolate Lab.
“Rusty” was skipping sideways and wanting to play with the Lab’s. I walked to the outside table and chairs and sat down. That seemed to please “Jefferson”, because he came to me and allowed me to pet him. While I was petting him “Hershey” had returned to his yard, only to come back to mine all wet. He either rolled on a watered yard or took a quick dip in their pool. Of course, he wanted attention from me and acceptance of his wetness. I told him being wet was ok, but he needed a bath.
While talking to “Hershey”, “Jefferson” had trespassed the fence again, returning with his tennis ball in his mouth. I took the ball from him and asked if they wanted to play. All of their ears rose in answer, so I tossed the ball toward the shed. “Hershey” was the quickest and returned the ball close to me, but he didn’t want to give it up immediately. We did this a couple of times with poor old “Jefferson” being the slowest on each offering. His slowness only made me like him more, because he tried each time, but could not get to the ball before “Hershey”. I thought there was a lesson in that, about not giving up and doing your best.
The dog’s owner began calling for them from the other side of the fence. I tossed the ball over the fence as she apologized for the dogs coming through. I told her it was alright and that I enjoyed seeing them. She promised she would have her husband fix the fence the next day as I went back inside.
Last night as we talked about the day, Terrie said, “I didn’t hear “Rusty” barking today.” I said the husband must have fixed the fence. It made me a little sad. It’s probably not the right thing to do, but perhaps I can go behind the shrubbery to create my own hole in the fence, in order to visit with my Three Caballeros.