Reform Rochester Now!

Making city and citizens self-sustaining

How a Yard Dog says Thank you

My lightning reflexes and better-than 20/20 vision make me an excellent driver. Rounding the corner near my house with my companion, I pulled over at the curb when I saw the dog. He was struggling at the edge of his fence to get a ball that had rolled beneath it.

“Could you get out and help that dog get his ball?” I asked my companion, who loves dogs. He didn’t want to move for a moment.

“He’ll bark at me.”

“He will not. He wants his ball,” I insisted.

My friend got out, gently retrieved the ball which was just beyond the reach of the anxious dog, and threw it to him. The entire time, the dog’s tail was wagging all the way up to his shoulders. The man who owns the dog came out of the shed. His mind was elsewhere, but he saw what we were doing and faintly smiled at us. He was on his way to the backyard and did not want to play.

The dog began trotting toward his man, then turned and looked back at my friend, still standing at the fence. He hesitated. It was a moment where the dog examined his protocol. “I should play with the stranger. No, I shouldn’t. I should bark at the stranger. But there’s a ball in my mouth.”

For a long while he stood with the ball in his mouth, looking over his shoulder at my friend without moving. His ears were forward as if he wanted to play. My friend paused there, then got back into the car.

It was a happy moment. God bless you, dog! Enjoy your ball.

Tomorrow, I will try again to do something nice for someone I don’t know.


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