652. Doggie

© Bruce Goodman 24 July 2015

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(This is written for the Cherished Blogfest. I depart for this “fest” from my daily fiction stance to the non-fiction. Although the Cherished Blogfest says a “cherished object“, I was never one to be hidebound by a rule. Click here to find fellow bloggers blogging for the Cherished Blogfest!)

I had a dog. It was some sort of Collie cross. It was long-haired and dark brown, with light brown trimmings. I called him Doggie. This is his story:

I was sitting on my veranda in Asheville, North Carolina, when a large dog appeared, walking along the road. It came up to me. It was hungry. It settled on my veranda and wouldn’t go away. I gave it some water. I gave it some food. I had never had a dog before. The postman told me where the dog lived. I left a note in their mail box with my name and number: “Your dog is at my place if your wish to pick it up.”

They never replied to my note. Several days later the dog disappeared. The postman told me that the owners used to beat the dog up.

A number of weeks went by and I was again on the veranda. There was a thunder storm and it was pouring with rain. The dog appeared on the road. He saw me and ran, scampering up the steps to the veranda. The huge animal leaped soaking wet into my arms. He never left again.

He had nests of fleas and blood-sucking tics and great whip soars across his back.

Several years later I had to move to Saint-Georges, Quebec. Doggie hated travelling in the car. He lay on the back seat feeling sick for three days of travel. Not a whimper; just a patient acceptance. I was worried about crossing the border into Canada, as I was an illegal resident in the United States. I was saved by the dog! The border people were interested in the dog’s papers. They took no notice of my passport.

Two years later I had to return to New Zealand as my health had deteriorated. I advertised in the local paper: FREE TO A GOOD HOME. A woman answered. She had a handicapped son. She had promised him a dog.

I drove to their home in Saint-Georges.

“Why! He’s a big teddy bear!” said the boy in French. “I will take him to show grandpa.”

I drove off. The last I saw was the boy and his dog in the distance, crossing the road, off to see grandpa.

I was bawling my eyes out. Doggie’s tail was wagging.

 

75 thoughts on “652. Doggie

  1. Sarah Angleton

    Asheville is beautiful! Of course I’ve never been there illegally. I wonder if that makes it an even sweeter place to be. The question I have is how does a creative person such as yourself come to name a dog Doggie?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      LOL! Yes, I do apologise for my once illegality! The dog’s name is a very long story! The next door neighbour lad (Jed 14 years) was wheelchair bound. He always wanted to mow a lawn, so the lawnmower company (free of charge) made him a fantastic lawnmower that he could pull behind the wheel chair. He mowed my lawn and I gave him $20, and the next day he died. He is the one that invented the name Doggie. However, in French Canada “Doggie” was foreign and exotic!

      Liked by 5 people

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  2. Cynthia Jobin

    Being an illegal immigrant was a lot more loose-goosey back in those days, I suspect, than it is today. And you could always use a fact which, in those Quebecois parts, would make you a figure of high esteem, i.e.. being a man of the cloth…. or was it a man of the clothes? At any rate, having to part from a canine companion is heart-wrenching, as I know very well. This piece is a real tear-jerker!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks for the compliment, Cynthia. Although it was pre-9/11 when I entered the States, it was post-9/11 when I left. The Canadian border people were not greatly enamoured I felt with all the regulations/restrictions being imposed on the US side of the border. Yes, pre-9/11 it was certainly easy-peasy to go in and out.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Cynthia Jobin

        I am also reminded by your story of how customs inspectors can be sidetracked by what accompanies you when you are crossing borders…as you say Doggie’s “papers” did. On a trip back to the US from Nova Scotia once, I decided that some contraband in my luggage would not be noticed if I bought some girlie magazines before boarding ship and placed them at the top of my tote bag. I was right. The customs officers got all involved with flipping through those magazines and smirking, and completely ignored whatever else was in my luggage. I passed right through.

        Liked by 2 people

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        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          Cunning! I always buy (in the host country) some little wooden knick-knack and then go through the agriculture inspection line. “No! That doesn’t count as agriculture, you silly person”. And off I go. The line is always shorter than the other lines anyway!

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  3. arlingwoman

    Well, I have to say that is one of the happiest looking dogs I’ve seen. He’s grinning at his amazing luck. It was wonderful of you to rescue him from the horrible people (right out of a Flannery O story, they were) and then make sure he got a good home and companion.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Yes, Flannery O’Connor indeed! I wish I had met them, but I didn’t see them. They weren’t home when I called. I had two dogs in Canada – this one spoke English, the other spoke French!

      Liked by 1 person

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        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          The dog was certainly smarter than some people! I lived next door (last year) to New Zealand’s largest veterinary university and my dog used to be a “client” of the vet school. She got a badge that read “My dog goes to university!”

          Liked by 3 people

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  4. Susanne Leist

    As soon as I saw the picture I knew I was going to cry. It was Lassie Come Home all over again, with Lassie never coming home. I sniffle as I write this. A beautiful story for a beautiful dog.

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  5. Belinda Crane

    The last sentence made me cry Bruce. I’m a huge sook with animals. I’m glad Doggie found love. You are a lovely man to look after Doggie 🙂

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  6. Dreamhowl

    What some people do to animals is terrible, but I am glad you gave the pup a home, and then found him a loving family later. Dogs give all the love that they have, they deserve love in return!

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. joannesisco

    First I was rather sad reading your story and my eyes were even welling up …. then I started reading the comments and found myself laughing at many of them.
    It would appear I am really, really naive compared to all the shenanigans you and others pull off at the borders 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  8. laughtermedicineforthesoul

    Beautiful story. I would have kept him the first time from the moment I noticed how badly he was being treated by his owner. But, I’m glad it ended well. Great job! I have two cats, think they are human, they are too smart. lol
    Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to read my post. Love your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. Oscar Alejandro Plascencia

    Doggone Bruce! Great canine tale for these dog days of Summer, more so because it’s non-fiction. You were both blessed to have crossed paths. Don’t think either of you would have had a dog’s chance without the other. If ever you’re missing Doggie, just look to the Heaven’s brightest night light: Dog Star! It’s where all doggies go when they go to heaven.

    P.S. I’m amazed at how quickly your comment feed became a dog and pony show!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          I can’t find Sirius at the best of times! I shall look at the Southern Cross instead! That was one thing I noticed when in the Northern Hemisphere – I could actually make out the famous star formations/clusters: the Bear, etc etc… Until then I had always thought they were a bit silly.

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