To all of you who’ve followed me for a while, you know about Scout, my bestest, faithful companion.
Because he came from a hoarding/abuse situation where he was tossed in a shed to fend for himself on a farm with 150 other dogs all in varying degrees of socialization and care, most of it bad, I have gone out of my way to make his life easy, or as easy as I could. Scout at around 2 in 2009 when he came to live with me didn’t know about stairs, had never been house trained, felt intimidated regarding a person’s position around a door, and couldn’t drink water if any other dogs or people were near. I have only spent one night away from him and that was for my nephew’s wedding. Otherwise, Scout has gone with me everywhere.
Today he had to undergo a dental procedure and a cyst removal; the latter we’re waiting for biopsy results on. And I’ve worried about him more, every step of the way.
He’s stoic, moreso than any dog I’ve encountered. He’s brave but also scared, which is a strange paradox until you actually meet Scout. He’s the gentlest, sweetest dog you could ever imagine. If there were a dog completely devoid of a biting instinct, it would be him. An individual who observed him after he’d been taken into custody said that he was the low dog on the totem pole. His first instinct was to flee, which he did once I opened his crate in my yard. He was attached by a leash to the back of a plastic crate and ripped it apart. Fortunately he was fenced in.
I had three other dogs when Scout came to me. They all accepted him and he was wary. That’s what happens when you see life and death on a farm with 150 other dogs each vying for food and water and you know you’ll lose.
One day he was the only dog.
And somewhere in there he became my heart.
When I picked him up, he was groggy. His feet kept trodding on his Elizabethan collar aka e-collar. When he got home, he laid down, chin resting on his feet, and Sophie Stella who had been missing him all day, came to smell him all over and nudge him. My heart hurt looking at him. I removed his e-collar and he went to lie on his favorite bed. (Yes, I will put the e-collar back on if he starts to take interest in his stitches, but for now I think it’s more important he regains himself.)
During all of this I thought about karma and fairness and how Scout should get many more years of being treated kindly and eating steak dinners and anything else he wants because someone early on not only didn’t care but threw him away. But that’s not the way life works. Every day I encounter people who think life is supposed to be fair, that they are entitled to something. My Scout, who is one of the best creatures to have ever walked this earth, is proof that that is not true.
For the first time in my presence, Scout whined tonight. He gets a little extra of anything he wants because if anyone is entitled, he is.