The Monster

More and more women have been leaving clothing and other children-related items on consignment. I like that because while we share any income, I don’t have to go out and scrounge around for merchandise. I just sit back and wait for it to walk right through the door.

Today the merchandise that walked right through the door took me by total surprise. The day had turned warm and since I have no air conditioner, only a little fan that I picked up at St. Vincent de Paul’s, I had left the front door open. Back at my computer, I was working on a flyer I intended having printed up for distribution to other businesses in the area on the off chance that I might pick up a few new customers who hadn’t really noticed my modest little business venture.

Actually, to call this arrival merchandise is a misnomer. What walked through the door was a massive and mean-looking Rottweiler. He just walked up from nowhere and stopped in the doorway looking right at me. I didn’t know what to say or do. I’ve never been particularly afraid of dogs, generally speaking. That is to say, dogs the size and shape of the naughty little Angel, but this guy, he was intimidating.

I just looked back at him, hoping he’d turn around and leave. Actually, what he did was stand there for a moment, drooling slightly, and then he lowered his head and moved right in, heading directly toward me. With only my little desk separating me from this monster, I think it is understandable that I felt not only intimidated but actually, I felt something more closely related to frightened to death. I couldn’t move and besides, there was no place to go except for the bathroom and that door wasn’t close enough to get to me to hope to get to it before he got to me.

However, much to my surprise, as he walked around the desk and shoved his massive head up over my knees, I felt suddenly that he might actually like me. He just stood there, sniffing slightly and then looking up into my face.

After a long hesitant moment, I carefully raised one arm and began to gently stroke that huge black head and I instantly felt his entire body relax. He sat on back on his haunches, his head now resting on my lap while I petted him for a bit, and finally I began talking to him. It may sound strange that I should initiate a conversation with a perfectly strange dog that had wandered into Vintage Sunshine Clothing, but I did, and while he didn’t answer, he did appear to understand somewhat, at least the gist of what I was saying, and within minutes, I realized this was no monster about to tear me to shreds, but a warm and perhaps even loving creature who only wanted a little receptive friendship in return.

By this time, I felt enough confidence to examine his big steel spike studded leather collar and found that his name was “Dog” and he had a microchip in him someplace. As the day wore on, Dog made no attempt or inclination to leave. As the normal few customers came and went, assured by me that Dog was friendly—a fact that he demonstrated by not biting or growling at anyone—actually, he appeared to particularly fond of children and they all liked him too.

At closing time, I couldn’t just shove Dog out into the evening and since no one had come looking for him, I decided to take him home for the night with the intention of making a visit to the pound the next day to have them read the microchip and find his missing owner.

Dog proved to be a perfect gentleman. He knew to go scratch on the door if he wanted to go to the bathroom and when I went to bed, he installed himself on the floor at the foot of the bed and I have to say, I went to sleep in the confidence that I had a protector just in the remote case that a home invader might pick my little cottage as his next conquest.

The following day I did as I said and, after checking the microchip and following up on that, Dog’s owner had been member of a motorcycle gang, and from all indications, a pretty rough one at that. And Dog’s owner, a certain young man named Whitey Bamford, had just been killed in a tragic motorcycle accident. So here we were: Little me all alone in the world, and Dog, also now all alone in the world.

Well, the upshot is that Dog appears to like it here with me, and I’m growing more and more fond of him every day, so what appeared to be a monster at first glance, turned out to be my best friend and I really feel safe with Dog around. I was never a particularly timid person anyway, but there are times when a woman finds herself alone on a lonely street and those are times when even the bravest person might start looking over her shoulder.

Now Dog accompanies me everyplace I go, and at the shop he’s a perfect gentleman all the time. Well, there are those moments when he enjoys lying right in front of the door when it’s open, and that doesn’t always go over well with potential customers, but when I see that, I tell him to move it, and he does. Hey, nobody’s perfect.

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