It’s something that just happened. Well, maybe not. Maybe he planned it all along. Conscious of taking his time, worming his way into my heart. At first, I wanted NOTHING to do with it. Didn’t want a thing to do with his smelly breath, ugly little body, or annoying presence.

I even gave him a title:


That’s right. For weeks – maybe months – I did not know this dog’s name. Didn’t want to know. He was not our dog. It was my mother-in-law’s dog. We just fed him; he spent the nights in our home, Tara pays for his care, his vet bills… but he is not ours’.

He’s a Chihuahua/Weenie dog mix: a Chiweenie.

One night, back in December, I thought: enough is enough.

I put him outside, hoping he would go home. My mother-in-law has a doggie door. Surely he would go back home. it was cold & wet enough outside, surely he would venture back to where he belonged. Back to a warm, familiar environment. This hope lasted two days & two nights.

It ended the morning Tara was leaving to go to work. She told me the little brown pain-in-the-butt came out from underneath some chairs we had on the porch.

That is right, dear Reader, he had been sleeping on the porch, waiting for one of us to let him in.

For some reason, I couldn’t take it. Tara says it has something to do with me being a good man. Now, I don’t know about all that. A dog is a dog, nonetheless, & he did not deserve to be cold,,, or hungry… or unloved, even though NOBODY on this wonderful compound likes him. He is not that different from a large, brown & needy rat, with bulging, panic-stricken eyes.

Nowadays, every night, he is at my side, on the couch, belly full & he is taken care of. He has even graduated to sleeping in the bed, completely covered, usually next to me.

There is the saying every dog has his day… well this dog, now, has his life. And his name is Rider. Sometimes, when I’m calling for him, it’s “Rider of the Storm.”


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