Saturday, March 31, 2018

Interlude: Three-Legged Dog

Last week while out shoveling the driveway for what seemed to be the upteenth damn time, it started snowing and blowing all over again. It was my fourth hour outside, starting to get dark, and I was crusted over with ice, sweaty and pretty tired. Just then a pair of dogs popped up down at the driveway entrance, both of them husky mixes, but the lead one was about twice as big and half as young as the other. 

Coaxing them closer I saw the second one, which was trailing a bit behind the larger fellow, was struggling a little as they churned through the drifting snowbanks. Muzzled in grey he limped over to me when I crouched down to coax them closer, hoping to check their tags for a number to call in case they were lost.

But I first went to check his injured paw, and when I pulled up his leg, there wasn’t one attached. Not a fresh wound mind you, he’d obviously long since adapted to what must have been a horrible accident (caught in a trailside trap no doubt), and made his way just fine stumping along. I watched them wander off down the trail to the cabin, and afterwards saw their tracks waded into and through some drifts that were over several feet deep. 

Eventually they completed their rounds, stopped again to say goodbye, and went along their way, disappearing into the growing darkness and wind. I couldn’t help but be touched how the bigger, stronger young fellow would always keep waiting for the three-legged one to catch up: a sort of silent buddy system between them.

It also put things back into perspective for me personally. My troubles were pretty much nothing compared to how bad it could get, and even then, literal dogged determination will see you through.

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