We have a good dog. The kind of dog who comes around once in a lifetime. If you’re lucky. He’s the dog who hears his name no matter where he is on the farm and comes running, lies by the barn door until chores are done, carries the paper up the lane each morning, shares his food with the kitten, and quietly requests a brief belly scratch every evening – if it’s not too much trouble.
He was the last puppy, a leftover, in a final litter of Bernese-Labrador crosses. The five-month-old quiet, gangly pup who we named Dodger had very big shoes to fill. We brought him home after the death of Chester, the elderly and by then blind Shepherd cross that I ran over with the horse trailer one terrible hot day in July (ALWAYS check under your vehicles on hot days before you drive away). Chester, the tiny unwanted puppy who arrived randomly one day tucked under my husband’s arm, grew to be pretty close to perfect himself.