My friend died, Monday, New Year’s day. I did not know his last name.

About a year and a half ago, while walking my dog, Blue Jeans, we came across a stray dog.  The two snarled and barked. After a few minutes the stray followed us home. I didn’t mind.

My house, kitchen to be specific, was a construction zone. Joe was one of the talented people on the rebuild.

“Anyone want a dog?” I shouted out when the three of us got home.

“I can’t,” said Joe. “I’m still getting over my last dog.”

“So sorry. How long has it been?” I wondered.

“Just three years.”

I chuckled, then realized Joe was not kidding. I dropped the conversation.

The stray was young and handsome as any dog could possibly be. I took him to the vet for a sorely-needed bath.

The bath required a full set of shots since he was a stray. The vet graciously gave me a discount once I explained the situation.

Later that day, after the vet visit, the stray now confined to my back yard, helped Joe.

There was plaster to be mixed, tools to be moved, and lots of schlepping to be done.

Joe tried to avoid the stray, told him to ‘go away.’  The dog would do so, then bounce right back. The dog was relentless. The dog wanted Joe. He just needed time for Joe to understand.

At the end of the day Joe collected all his hidden tools and cleaned up gobs of plaster strewn about the yard. The stray matched Joe’s every step!

“I think I need to take this dog home.”

This 6’5″, two hundred pound new friend of mine had a tear in his eye.

Joe and the beautiful stray dog climbed into Joe’s ratty-old truck and went home; only to be separated a year and a half later when Joe, a mid-thirties, otherwise healthy man died of a heart attack.


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