When you live in a rural area where town people sometimes go to dump off their unwanted pets, you soon learn the rules of dealing with strays: if you ignore them, they will go away. If a stray dog comes along, do not feed it, bathe it, or give it a name.
Today I violated all three of those rules.
Yes, the dog that followed me home Friday morning is still hanging around in a pleasant and non-demanding way. I successfully ignored her all day Friday and Saturday, so I wasn't surprised this morning to look out the window and see no sign of her. "That dog's gone away," I said, but then I opened the door and there she was lying across the threshold as if guarding it.
What could I do? I picked up a bag of dogfood on the way home from church. A small bag. I don't want to make a big investment in a dog that may be back in the hands of her proper owners by the end of the week. The earliest I can put an ad in the paper is Monday, and then who knows?
She was happy to be fed and happy to be bathed and not so happy about the tick spray, but I notice that most of the ticks have dropped off. When I go out the door, she bounds around in a friendly manner and follows me wherever I go.
We're calling her Hopeful because that's what she is, and maybe because that's what I am too. It has been three years since our dog died, and Hopeful makes me wonder whether I might be about ready to get another one. This could be the dog! Or not. We'll know by the end of the week.Meanwhile, we're hopeful.