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Today was the first day I manged to walk the 3 mile loop around the neighborhood that Daisy and I used to walk for exercise. I tried to do it a couple of times before, but always turned back. It just didn't feel right without Daisy snuffling along by my side. It was just too sad and I couldn't stand it.
Today I made the loop successfully and as I came down the last stretch, someone came out to meet me. I'm not sure what her name is, Princess or something, but she'd come out of her yard before when Daisy and I walked by. She is overweight, old and infirm; an American bulldog as sweet as you could ask for. Just getting down the hill from her yard left her panting and exhausted. But she was a game little thing and always wanted to follow Daisy and I on our walk. I used to keep a spare leash in my pocket in case we met her and had to walk her back home when she inevitably followed us. I'd return her to her family so they could take her in so she couldn't wander off after us again. I was kind of afraid she'd have a heart attack if she tried to keep up. She certainly wanted to go with us, though.
Today she spotted me and came waddling down the hill to meet me. I stopped and the two of us sat down in the little drainage ditch and I scratched the back of her head and talked to her. I explained about Daisy not being with me anymore. She rubbed her big slobbery head against me and seemed to be offering me her sympathy. I walked back to her front door and got her safely home, then I turned homeward again. I felt lonelier, but in an odd way better.
My hands smelled pretty doggy and when I got home I washed them, almost regretfully. I have this feeling God nudged the old girl out to drainage ditch because this lonely old guy was missing his friend today and needed a sweet old doggy head to scratch. It would be just like God to do that.
That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoe-making and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. -Mark Twain