When I was around 13 or 14, we had a dog named Joseph. I don’t know what breed Joseph was, but he was short-haired, about knee high, with perky ears, reddish tan colored, and very smart. Joseph was my constant companion, except for the week when he got sprayed by a skunk.
Back in those days, we lived out in the boonies – I could shoot my .22 in any direction, and if I missed the house, I really didn’t have to worry about hitting anything or anybody. So Joseph was free to come and go, inside and outside, as long as he could get somebody to open the door. He slept indoors, usually on my bed. Except for the week when he got sprayed by a skunk.
We had noticed for about a week that he’d go down in the woods in the evenings, and we’d hear him barking down there several hundred yards from the house, and then he’d show up for bedtime. So after a week or so of this, one night we didn’t let him out.
My family and I were all sitting around the kitchen table that evening, shortly after dark, when we heard a thumping at the door. So of course, we got up to see what it was.
It turned out to be a possum. So we opened the door, and Joseph took off. He and the possum ran down into the woods, side by side as they disappeared into the darkness. And a few minutes later, we heard that barking start up again down in the woods.
Joseph, apparently, had found a friend to play with.
Life really is amazing, if you pay attention.

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