I've always been partial to Terriers, and especially white ones, so when I spied the little Fox Terrier look-alike in my rear-view mirror while waiting in line at the bank's drive-up window, he had my immediate attention.

     After completing my transaction, I drove around to the front parking lot, where he was then being fawned over by a child and his father.  They denied ownership of the little fellow, so I scooped him up and took him home. 

     It was love at first sight, so when a neighbor girl saw him at my house and told me he had followed her home from school, and that he lived right beside it, I was loathe to take him there.  What kind of people allowed a puppy to roam like that, I wondered?  And between my house and his, there was a busy highway that ran through the center of town.

     Nevertheless, I felt it was wrong to keep him, knowing where he belonged, so I drove him to the house beside the school.  As I waited on the porch for someone to answer my knock, I surveyed the evidence of his old couch he obviously slept on, items in various stages of destruction-by-teeth, the usual puppy mess.

     The man who came to the door confirmed that he owned the dog, or rather his two-year-old daughter did.  He showed no relief or joy at having him returned, so I gave him my phone number and told him that if he ever wanted to get rid of him, please call me.  With a heavy heart, I headed home.

     For the next week, I worried constantly that the little guy would get killed on the street, and I kept a lookout for him in case he followed the neighbor girl again.  Several times I drove around looking for him.  Then one day, as I pulled out onto my street, there he was!  He had just run into the intersection about a block away.

     I jumped out of my van, kneeled down in the middle of the street and called to him.  He stood still a moment, looking my way, so very tiny at that distance.  Then he burst into a run and came right at me, not stopping until he was in my arms.  What a happy reunion it was!

     I couldn't bear to take him back to his owners again, and I put it off for two or three days, even taking him to Indiana with me when we drove down in a rental truck to clean out a mobile home we were selling there.  Finally I had to do something about making him my dog.

     There was no one home at his house, but I had learned where the Mrs. worked, so I drove there to plead my case with her.  She was hesitant to give him away, claiming her daughter would miss him so much, but then again, he had been something of a nuisance, barking when they put him on a chain until the school would call and complain about it.

     In the end she gave in, and Bear, as his name was then, went home with me, and my heart sang.   
"Little Rocky Toto" in "The Wizard of Oz"
Newcomerstown, OH 1987
The story continues...
"Poco Bear", our little visitor
Lake Odessa, MI 1984
   It must have been fate!   Only weeks earlier, my daughter and I had visited a friend of hers who had a litter of puppies to find homes for.  One of those puppies, as we later learned, had been given to a family who lived next door to the school.  Yep...our very own Rocket J. Bear!
Rocky, Spanner, and Cody hamming it up
Bellevue, NE  1988
Copyright 2004 Carole J Sulser
~ ABC Dog School ~