Sunday, May 31, 2009

The morning of our first day

Part 2
(continued from Part 1)

Two hours later, I return to the truck. The puppy is alert and lying down, front paws resting over a length of power cord that stretches thirty feet, from the ride to the generator. Between her paws I notice (and this is a twilight zone moment if there ever was one) there are two gaping holes she has chewed into the rubber, large enough that I can see the paper covering the copper wire below it. A quick glance at the generator confirms my fear that it still has power running through it.

"It's going to be a miracle if you make it through this day", I say, picking up the power line and moving it out of her reach. She stands up and wags her whole body at me, oblivious to the violent death that might've been her future. She is major-league cute and already I know that she will own me from this point forward.

Power lines wait to be packed away on teardown day

"Someday little girl, if you live long enough," I say, "I'll tell you a story about a dog named Lucky, who should've been named Sparky. You get me?"

She barks, twice this time. Sassy, not fearful like before.

"I can't pet you now," I say. "I have gasoline or something all over me but I'll be back to get you soon, I promise."

I take a minute to look around for other hazards and make a mental checklist: wet towel, water bottle, food bowl, water; all within reach. Beyond that just some cupcake wrappers, a few cigarette butts and the elusive chicken bone. A few steps later I kick the chicken bone even further off and in an ironic twist, announce to no one: "I'm talking to a dog now as if it understands me. Perfect."

Seventy-two frames later I hear a truck honk across the midway. It is Billy in the cab waving for me to come get the dog. He gets out of the cab to untie her leash and while he's getting the knot undone, I mindlessly ask if he smells gas.

"Yeah diesel," he says, "when the fuel man filled up the truck it got spilled on everything, even the puppy, so you might have to give her a bath."

He hands me the long red leash and it all makes sense. The wet towel she was lying on all that time was soaked with fuel. All the boss man would've had to do was flip his cigarette at her. No weapon necessary. The water bowl, that was fuel too. I thank him and the girl, then asleep in the truck, sincerely and head across the midway with the wildly energetic puppy bounding along ahead of me. We stop twice to say goodbye to friends, many of whom (unbeknownst to me), I will never see again. The puppy's food bowl and towel are smashed flat in a matter of minutes as the big truck that was her home for the last three months, is positioned to meet its load. I have myself a dog and a new friend. For both of us, life will never be the same as it was before this moment.


Princess said...

Ack! Does it torture you to think about all those little ironies that could have taken her from you in a matter of minutes back then?

What you didn't know you were getting into and now what you wouldn't do to help her. I recently saw the dirt field Princess came from and couldn't believe the spoiled girl she is now.

I know why she doesn't run out of the house when the door is open now. Too many soft cushy beds to use and no gasoline filled puddles and dirt piles.

~P's mom

Susan Rose said...

Knowing you saved Stella from certain electrocution and possible death by burning had to be a bonding moment for you. (Now Stella has a home where BASIC COMMON SENSE prevails.)

Stella owes you big time, but she probably doesn't know it.

susan said...

Thanks P's mom and Susan. I'm not sure on that common sense part but we do try. Can't believe I didn't take a picture of the power line she was chewing. That was a long day that thankfully, ended w/ us passed out in the floor together.