Thanks so much! I revised the whole thing a little bit (mostly the ending) and used your suggestion. If you have time, can you look through it again? Like I said, mostly the last paragraph is changed- and I added one. Thanks:
Originally Posted by Gillnetter
I remember my neighbor's dog. It was a yappy little thing that would spend most days hovering at the fence, waiting for something interesting enough to bark at. Another dog, a squirrel, a dragonfly – whichever caught his attention first. Whenever I walked outside, there he was staring longingly at me through the fence. He always had this dopey smile on his face, his eyes bright and hopeful, waiting for a glance or a nod that would start up another round of that loud, ecstatic barking.
On this day, I remember walking outside to no usual yappy greeting. I looked through the fence and saw the little runt standing in the flower garden, seemingly enticed by the new blooms. He was staring at a large tiger lily. I wondered what exactly he saw– perhaps a strange new acquaintance, or maybe just a peculiar smelling blossom. Eventually a dragonfly flitted across his path and his face broke into his normal grin as he sauntered away in its wake.
He was gone later that afternoon.
After a few days of wondering if my eccentric little friend had perhaps moved on, I saw him there at the fence. He had a cone on his head and a long scar down his abdomen. Later I would learn that he had needed surgery to correct a twisted stomach. Despite the distress he must have felt, he never lost his stride. In fact, there he was, smiling and happy and staring at me. I walked to the fence and stuck my fingers through, scratching his chin that was framed in the cone. His eyes closed but his mouth stayed open in a funny little smirk. I thought back to two years prior when I had needed surgery to remove my gallbladder – I stayed in bed for a week, doped on painkillers and whining to anyone who could stand me. Someone had brought me a bouquet of tiger lilies and I remember thinking that I would have preferred the sweeter smell of roses to the pungent one of the lilies.
I withdrew my hand from the fence and that buoyant little pup stared up at me with a heartbroken look in his eyes: Was it pity for me? Did this little creature understand more about life than I did? Was this wounded little dog trying to tell me to stop and live life?I frowned at him and the little guy flashed me one last toothy grin and then ambled off, tripping over his cone, to the garden of lilies. He settled down in them, the itchy pollen falling on his face and back, and he lay there grinning until the sun went down.
The next day I bought a huge bouquet of lilies. The sharp smell filled my house; however I couldn’t help but appreciate the exotic beauty of the flowers – all thanks to my neighbor’s dog.