I saw Polly again and asked about the new dog I saw her with. First of all, his name is “Fellini,” which seems a little pretentious.
Second, Fellini is a mixed breed, but mostly Lab. And third, unlike François, Fellini has four legs.
It was obviously a sensitive subject but I was super curious so I gently started with, “I noticed that Fellini has all his legs…”
She said, “I know, everyone is asking the same thing. The truth is, I looked for another special needs dog at the shelter but they didn’t have any. So Fellini lucked out.”
Turns out, dogs with missing limbs are the first ones euthanized, so Polly has had several “special needs” dogs over the years. In fact, this is the first dog she’s had with all four legs.
I told her that all dogs go to heaven and she’d be right there with them.
Polly’s dog died.
I saw her in the complex without François and I said, “Hey, where’s your dog?” She told me he had cancer.
I was thinking, “Great, like the holidays aren’t depressing enough without thinking about dogs dying of cancer.” But what I said was, “Come here.” I gave her a big hug.
It’s weird. There are people who touch you without provocation (or invitation) like Janet at work who always puts her hand on your shoulder when she’s talking to you. It doesn’t mean anything. It just feels nice. I am totally not that kind of person (big surprise) and the thought of just touching someone seems a bit rude, but mostly just scary. Still, in this case it just seemed right and I hugged Polly for a good little while.
And I think afterward she felt better.
I met a girl today in my apartment complex who was walking her dog. The dog was a French Bulldog (so she told me) and he only had three legs. I’ve seen her walking this dog a few times before and I’ve never stopped to say hello, but today the dog came up to me and starting humping my leg, so I felt like the time was right to break the ice.
I said, “Wow, this really brings back the memories.”
She pulled him off of me and laughed. “You have a dog?”
I said, “No, but I did some hard time a few years back.”
She looked at me kind of shocked.
“Just kidding. I’m Fletcher. I live in 1305.”
We talked for a while about her dog (François). He didn’t lose his leg in Nam, he was born that way. The girl’s name was Polly. She was not super hot by any means but I told her I’d see her around. And that if François wants to hump me again, he’d better buy me dinner first.