An Unexpected Love Story
Life's Little Surprises Can be the Best Ones
As a child, when my dad spoke, the whole house listened. He was a large man, with big Popeye arms and few words. We never saw him as being sensitive or poetic, but when I got married and moved to Florida, our family discovered a side of my father no one knew existed.
As a young wife, I found myself a bit lonely and homesick in the town of Homestead Florida. My solution to this problem was to get a dog. A Pekinese/Poodle or Peekapoo as they were called, was my dog of choice. However, I ended up with a beagle terrier who was about to be put out on the streets, and she ended up being my little darling for over thirteen years. Cookie was a very smart, intuitive little girl, and we were inseparable. One day, as we were playing outside, a reddish brown Lassie looking dog, about Cookie’s size strolled by, and over the course of time, they were sniffing each other and playing together. The dog would not let me come near him, but he followed us home, and each day when we went out for our walk, he was waiting for us. As time went on, this pooch became Cookie’s best friend, and of course I fed him, so by default, he became the dog I never wanted, but could not turn away. My husband’s tour in Florida was ending and he was being stationed overseas. I was moving back to my hometown, but two dogs were more than I could handle with school during the day and a job at night. Through much pleading and with a promise to find the dog a home as soon as I returned, my parents finally caved and allowed me to bring the dog home. Much to everyone’s surprise, that orphan dog won my dad’s heart! As Forest Gump said about Ginny, “We were like peas and carrots.” My dad and the new pooch became the best of friends.
I am not sure exactly when the poem I am about to share was written, but was told by my younger sister, that my dad sat down at the kitchen table with her one Saturday morning and wrote it as if it was from her perspective. We saw a side of him that pleasantly surprised all of us, and we never viewed him quite the same again. He showed us a tender and talented side we never forgot.
The Dog from Nowhere
Out of nowhere he appeared
Around the edge of my sister’s yard.
Looking for something-for anything
Trying hard not to starve.
If you spoke to him, he ran away.
He seemed to trust no one.
But every day he appeared again
Probably looking for just a bone.
Now my sister had a dog of her own
What kind, God only could say.
Cookie had loving all her life
And couldn’t understand running away.
So she began to wag her tail
Or maybe flick her ear.
And seemed to be saying to this little dog
You are sure to be welcome here.
So day by day as time went on
And Cookie, darn her hide
Used every trick in the book
To get him by her side.
She used such tender and loving care
That before he realized
He not only had entered the yard
He even went inside.
He had a home before
Somehow it was still in his mind.
Homestead, being an Airforce town
They transferred and left him behind.
He had found a new home now
Cookie had taken him in.
The service being as it is
Transferring was coming again.
The last time he had been left
To get along on his own.
But Cookie was having none of this
She was taking him home.
Home to her was where Sheila was
And it made no never mind
But one thing Cookie was sure of
She wasn’t leaving him behind.
Home to Sheila at this time
Was back in Caroline.
Her husband was going overseas
And she would be left behind.
One dog she could handle
But two brought on doubt.
But maybe dad could, maybe
Use one at his house.
So that’s the way he came to us.
I’ll never forget the day.
No name, no nothing, just a dog
Who somehow lost his way.
Cookie felt right at home
But her friend was a bit in doubt.
Never had he seen such loving
As he found at this house.
But Cookie had to go her way
And dog he stayed with us.
For us to pick a name for him
Caused us quite a fuss.
Sheila had called him Pooch
Since he was lacking for a name.
And after all the fussing
We decided to do the same.
Now Cookie to us had too much sense
For a mere little dog supposed to be dense.
She’s not a dog, she’s not a person
So why don’t we just call her a derson.
So Pooch it is and Pooch it will stay.
He answers to it every day.
He has found a home and a home it will be
Until Cookie says, “Pooch, come follow me.”