This story was written in response to a writing prompt on Ann Lindquist’s blog.
I was standing at the gas pump yesterday, adding Regular to the tank when I saw the dog. She trotted around the back end of my truck, sat down on the other side of the hose and gave me the look. She was young, clean and her appearance mesmerized me. Her brown eyes appeared to sparkle from a spattering of light blue chips. Her merle coloring with copper highlights on her face enhanced those eyes. A ribbon of white fur ran from the patch on top of her head, between those eyes, to her full white muzzle.
The loud clank from the nozzle shutting off jolted me from our connection, she didn’t appear to notice, she kept watching me. I removed the nozzle and replaced it in the pump, screwed my gas cap back on and secured the little door. She sat there and watched me the entire time.
“So, what cha doin’?” I asked her.
Her lips parted and she gave me a small smile, then started panting very slowly.
That made me smile, so I tried my best line, “Do you come here often?”
No answer, but she did cock her head sideways and stopped panting.
“Is that your dog?” The proprietor had come out of the office.
“No,” I said, “she just came over to say hi.”
“She’s been hanging around since this morning. She won’t let anyone near her and she hasn’t gone near anyone else, so I thought she might be yours.”
“Nope, but she is a cutie.”
I turned back to her; she was still waiting and watching me. I squatted down, still keeping my distance, and asked her, “Are you friendly?”
She offered me her right paw. It was white, like the rest of her feet, and delicate.
I reached out and took it, being as gentle as she looked. “Nice to meet you, I’m Marty.” I released her paw.
“She’s wearing a collar,” I called out to the owner. It hung loosely around her neck; a blue plastic tag with lettering was attached.
“Can I read your tag?” I asked her.
She scooted closer to me, stretched out and gave me a light kiss on the corner of my mouth. She sat down with her tag now in easy reach.
I grasped the tag, turned it and read aloud, “I AM YOURS.”
She woofed at me in agreement. I felt a big grin break out on my face. I stood up and opened the door of my truck, “Okay, if that’s what you want, load up.”
She leaped, light as a feather, up into the driver’s seat, hopped across to the passenger seat and sat down, looking like she owned the place.
I waved over to the owner, “Yeah, she is my dog, I just didn’t know.”
He looked disgusted, flapped his hand in our direction and stalked back into his office.