The Boy and His Dog

24 Days of Grateful [Day 19]

This morning, I was attacked while running. Well, sort of. A small, fluffy, white dog with floppy ears and stumpy legs growled and jumped at me. He was wearing a blue bandanna and at the other end of his leash was a boy who looked to be 11 or 12 years old, clad in grey sweatpants, a hoodie, and a beanie with an orange stripe. They were going on a walk just as I crossed their driveway with my headphones and panting breath.

The dog clearly thought I was a threat to his boy, and I heard his growl through Kelly Clarkson’s voice in my eardrums. Enchanted by his adorable self, which is exactly the opposite effect this dog intended to have, I stopped and knelt to the ground, not hesitating as I put my hands in his soft curly fur. He melted instantly, short wispy tail wagging and his tongue lolling, big brown eyes trusting me as soon as I trusted him. Dogs are so easy. Boys are usually harder, I’ve found.

This boy hadn’t spoken to me yet. I pulled my headphones out of my ears and looked up at him from the ground. “Your dog is so cute,” I said.

You would have thought I had just handed this child the sun. His face lit up with a glittering smile full of braces, and his blue eyes got a gleam. He had freckles that looked like they were dancing as his grin spread.

“Thanks,” he said.

His dog jumped at me, irritated that I had looked away for a minute.

“Don’t jump!” his master commanded, tugging on the end of the leash.

“It’s okay,” I told him. “I always stop for dogs.”

The boy didn’t say anything, but the smile was tight on his cheeks and only growing wider. I smiled back at him and gave his furry friend a final pat. “I’ll let you guys go for for a walk now,” I said.

I waved at the boy, and he looked so different from the moment I spotted him at the end of the driveway. He was still silently smiling, and I realized I was smiling, too.

All I wanted to do was play with a cute dog. But I am grateful that I got to do something more today. 

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