Thinking Out Loud


Me and Jack were out doing our business. Like a couple of guys in the men’s room, we were barking nonsense to each other. Just for fun I asked him what he wanted for Christmas.

He put his leg down and looked at me. “I already got my Christmas present Ash. I got pulled from death row and I’m living a dream with you and Tess.”

Then his eyes teared up. “Ash, you don’t know what it’s like in a shelter. You’re in a cage 24 hours a day. The other dogs are barking and crying. You can smell the fear.”

“Some of the dogs were lost and their owners came for them,” Jack said. “I had an owner. She got in trouble because she didn’t take care of us. I kept hoping she would come get me and my buddy Butch, but she never did. If it weren’t for Old Dog Haven I’d be stinking up a grave somewhere.”

I understood the words Jack barked, but they made no sense to me. From the time I was a pup mom said she would always be there for me. She said if I ever got lost she would move heaven and earth to find me. Mom said me and her are soul mates and she would never ever give me up.


Jack found another tree to piss on. As he lifted his leg he looked right at me. “Be grateful that you’ve never known anything but love, Ash. You’re one of the chosen ones. But I’m the one who was saved. I’ll never forget that someone cared enough about a lonely old dog like me to save my hide. That’s pretty special.”

With that Jack trotted back to the house. He hadn’t seen mom for a couple of minutes and he was getting nervous. Chosen or saved. Each of us came to Asherpark on a different path, but here we were doing business together. I like that.

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