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Meanwhile, big ears had abandoned his fun and was now neatly sitting and staring intently at me, as if waiting for a command, or food. “Looks like he was crossed with a fruit bat with those ears,” I laughed and at that he barked at me, seemingly with indignation, and then took off through the fence and disappeared in the bush. ( re read part 1 )

“Do you think they might want to get rid of that one?” I asked Al as “big ears” vanished into the scrub.

Why did I bother with that question? I certainly did not drive all that way looking for a dog. I wanted a 3/4 inch adjustable reamer, an object of beautiful steel precision. Besides, I had absolutely nothing for a dog. And, the cost of keeping a dog was...well…expensive! My dear Mother reckoned my Father spent more on his dog’s vet fees than both of them did on doctors—and they were both in their eighties.

Getting through that barbed wire fence separating the properties reminded me of how much I needed to exercise to lose some gut. Maybe if I did have a dog I’d have to walk the animal and that would be good for me, if not the dog.

So I mused.

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Ha! I recalled in a fit of health consciousness I once bought a rowing machine and used it once—all of ten minutes. Sitting on the bedroom floor between two beds rowing in the same spot was boring and stupid. I’d rather expire from a fat gut than the boredom of rowing like hell to nowhere.

A rowing machine is an ungainly contraption that did not fit under the bed like the instructions said—unless you get your toolbox and take it apart. After near breaking a toe several times I took it to the op-shop where some bargain hunter might get better use of it.

“Stick it in the back corner,” snarled a crotchety old dolly. Mine was the fifth rowing machine to find that back corner—no wonder I got no thanks for my expensive donation to the community.

Anyway, the dog owner’s house was about 70 metres through the brush and trees. Our encroachment was met with considerable noise as all beasts did their protective duty, which quickly rallied their owner. Alan passed minor civilities and something further about the weather with his neighbour’s wife before asking if any of the dogs were for sale.

“No, not really,” she said. “We decided to keep all but one.”

Of course, I thought, it wouldn’t be the best looking one, the cheeky black one to which I’d taken a fancy. If I couldn’t have the little black one I didn’t want any. I didn’t really want a dog anyway and this was how I’d avoid the problem—what the hell was I doing there? What was I thinking?

“You can have that little black one if you want, his name’s Eddie.”

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What! They want to give away, free, for nothing, the only dog in the litter that I would consider. Hang on a second! I wondered why the liveliest, the best looking and the friendliest little dog was being offered as a give-away prize? What was wrong with Eddie, my suspicious and cynical mind worked overtime?

Before I could even think, before I could come to my senses and get to hell away to my business, I was made privy to the virtues of Eddie.

“His mother is that mini-foxy over there and his father is a kelpie, I dunno where he is right this minute, but he won’t grow much more than he is now. He was born in March, you know.”

“Born in March,” I croaked, “I was born in March.” As if that meant the two of us were related.

“Yes, he was born on the seventh of March. What date are you?” She asked.

“The fifth, the fifth of March,” I said, with anticipation reserved only for those who have just happened upon their long-lost soul mate.

“Look,” I said regaining some sense, “I don’t even have a collar or a lead, I wasn’t  thinking about acquiring a dog, I’m not really set up for a dog.”

“Oh, don’t worry about little things like that,” said Eddie’s master reassuringly, for in her hand was both collar and lead—they looked brand new—the $7.50 price-tag was still on the lead.

“Eddie’s first owner left these with him when she brought him back.”

Brought him back! What did she mean by, brought him back? Eddie was just three months old and he’d been brought back? Someone had rejected him—why? I’d heard about kids being returned to the orphanage by defeated foster parents who couldn’t control them. But—a little puppy?

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What was it that I didn’t know about?

“Is there something wrong with him?” I asked, hoping to hear that he was a house-wrecker, or worse and that would put end to my ill thought whim.

“No, it’s nothing like that; the lady loved him but had to bring him back because she was moving into a flat where they didn’t allow pets—not even cats,” she was quick to add. “Fancy you two being only two days apart in birthdays. This is amazing fate—you were made to be together. Look how he’s looking at you. He knows you're taking him.”

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Struth! I wanted to cancel the whole thing. A dog was no good for me. I don’t have time to look after myself properly. Besides, the house is in a filthy mess and I definitely didn’t need to be running about trying to soak up piddle from my rugs. I’d have to keep him outside, even if it is cold.

Try as I might, it was all happening too fast. But there did seem to be some sort of magnetic attraction. As if sensing my confusion, Eddie sat at my feet and stared through my eyes right into my brain. That was the moment I became a dog owner. I was now Eddies father.

“What does he eat? Probably all the bloody furniture.”

“Oh, he’ll eat anything—but puppy food is best.”

“They need vaccinations and things, don’t they?”

“Yep, he’ll need all those things because the lady didn’t get around to it—she didn’t have him long enough.”

There must be something wrong I thought as we headed for the car, Eddie prancing along beside me in fine style—two peas in a pod. Life would be different from that day on—and how. I could not have imagined!

 

If you missed out on part 1, you can catch up here...

https://patriotrealm.com/index.php/2884-love-at-first-sight

Please note: all images are for fun. Not Eddie. 

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