I am walking by her house for the first time. She is a dog of considerable size, and I stiffen more than slightly. It’s clear, as she ambles over to the sidewalk to inspect me, tentatively sniffing the hand I’ve offered, that she is benevolent and only wants to say hello. I scratch her broad brown sugar head and keep going.
The second time I walk by her house, I am now undeniably lost, though it makes no difference to her. She forgoes my extended hand, instead enthusiastically spit bathing my leg with one efficient lick.
I’m trying, the third time I walk by her house, to remember the directions my sister has given me, wishing I had a smart phone with GPS, and contemplating the inevitable rescue call to my brother-in-law. I feel as though she’s been watching for me, my sweet new friend, and she gallops to the sidewalk. Evidently we are past hand sniffing and leg licking-she is bouncing up and down with joy.
There is no fourth time. I’ve figured out (with lots of help) where I need to go. Still, I wonder about her. Wonder if she is waiting for me. Yet with my incurable lack of directional sense I have no hope of ever finding her again.