At night when I unload the dishwasher and close up the house, Puddler Bill settles in between my chair and the end table. From this position, with head alert, he can observe every move I make.
It is cold outside, so I get my heavy robe and go the front door. I know those two anxious eyes are on me. I ask if he wants to go outside. He breaks and runs for the door. As I reach to pick him up, I always say, "want lift?," he stiffens his body, I pick him up then place him against my chest, bringing the folds of my robe around him. My ten pound dog is secure. All you can see is his head sticking out just below my chin.
We go out in the cold. Sometime a cold shutter goes through Puddler Bill. I hold him closer. With my hand holding my robe next to his chest, I can feel the beat, beat of his little heart.
Out past the cars, we check for cats around the garbage cans. In the dark his head moves to the slightest noise. I feel him breathe quickly in puffs to scent the cold north wind with that little wet black nose. We stop, I lean my back on the car and enjoy the cold night. No matter how cold, that little warm body is like a heating pad against my chest.
After a while, we start back up the walk. Now he wants to get down on the grass and mark his yard. Now others will know, Puddler Bill lives here.
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Copyright © 1996-2010 by Lanty H. Wylie, Jr. All Rights Reserved.