An Accounting of Love

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An Accounting of Love

by Kathy Pippig Harris



It was a late September afternoon and Gerald was driving down a country road that took him through vineyards. Due to roadwork on the main thoroughfare traffic had been detoured.

His job took him all over the valley and today he had spent a good portion of his day behind the wheel. Down between two rows of grapevines something brownish-red caught his eye. Gerald slowed the car to a stop.

With a hobbling gait, a tiny animal made its way toward Gerald?s car. Gerald opened his door and stepped out onto the dirt shoulder. The small animal kept advancing?its head tilted at an odd angle. As the creature drew closer, Gerald wondered how the animal could stand, let alone walk?it was nothing but fur, skin, and bones.

Gerald knelt down, keeping still, until the small dog took a few more halting steps, then as if surrendering, the little fur boy collapsed at Gerald?s feet. He was so frail looking Gerald hesitated to touch him. It was when the red dog turned his head up to peer at Gerald, that Gerald lost all his careful inhibition.

One of the young dog?s eyes was totally destroyed. From his clear eye, the little dog studied him. He looked so sad it nearly broke Gerald?s heart.

With eyes misting, Gerald gently scooped the fur boy up. ?How have you made it this far?? he muttered before settling the little guy on the passenger seat of his car.

He drove to the vet he used for his senior Airedale Terrier, Chauncey. The vet, in examining the dog said, ?He must be in a lot of pain with that ruined eye. The injury has been left too long untreated.?

The vet looked at Gerald, ?I?ll do all that I can to make him well.?

Gerald nodded and left the office.

~*~

Three days later Gerald brought the furry patient home. He had an e-collar on to prevent him from scratching at the stitches that kept his eyelids shut. The infected, damaged eye had been removed.

Gerald held the little boy; stroking him tenderly. The twinkle in the dog?s remaining eye and his expression of thankful joy touched something deep in Gerald?s soul. He decided to keep him, but he needed to see how his older dog would get along with the newcomer.

As it turned out the elder dog would have nothing to do with the small red dog and there had been a couple episodes where the Airedale had physically threatened him. Gerald and his wife were devastated?they had both come to love their little warrior.

So, Gerald called the lady who ran a no-kill shelter in the next county and asked if she might accept a one-eyed little dog, with a big heart. She agreed readily after Gerald explained the circumstances. He added the he?d like to come by every other Friday to pick the dog up and take him home for weekend visits. It was Gerald?s hope that their Airedale would have a change of heart and grow to accept the dog as a friend.

~*~

One week Gerald got a call from the lady at the no-kill shelter, to tell him it looked like his little rescue had found a forever home. Gerald knew the time might come when the dog, which he had never named for fear of becoming too attached, would be noticed by a loving human and taken home.

Gerald?s insides twisted painfully, this was the weekend he was to have picked the fur boy up for another try at Gerald?s house.

?May I come see him, one last time?? he said.

?Of course!?

Within half an hour he was at the shelter. The lady was waiting for him, the small dog in her arms. She handed him over and the dog?s tail wagged furiously as Gerald held him lovingly. Then the furry fellow showered Gerald with kisses.

Gerald hugged him tightly and murmured words of affection. He walked out to a side yard so he could be alone with the now-healthy fur ball, whose life he had saved. But, in saving his life, he had lost his heart to the brave little warrior with the huge loving spirit.

Before he left, the lady assured him the red dog was going to a loving home. He nodded, thanked her and drove away.

It was hard for the lady to tell him about the new home the dog was going to. Difficult talking to a man whose heart was breaking. Hard not to cry when she looked into his eyes brimming with tears.

Later that afternoon a woman came to collect her new family member. She had been told the story about the little dog. And, after she arrived at the shelter the lady told her about the man?s last visit.

In his medical files, Gerald had left a letter describing how he had come to know and love the little dog. Included in the letter was his phone number.

That night, with the phone cradled at her shoulder, she told Gerald all about the red dog?s new home. She told him she had named the furry boy, Furgus?

...And Gerald smiled.

~**~**~ Copyright 2006 Kathy Pippig Harris

Kathy lives in Central California's San Joaquin Valley with her husband and furry family. She is a weekly columnist for the publication "Frank Talk" and a published author of five novels. She states, "Were it not for her need, desire, and love of writing -- she would surely go mad!"

Kathy Pippig Harris - EzineArticles Expert Author



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