“Well, Cat, you sure have brought in the mail.”
“Boss, this is one Catahoula dog that has missed good scratches behind the ears, romps in the side yard, the feel of your face against mine.”
“I hear you like your new home, so you don’t have to spread it on too thick.”
“Every word’s the truth if I ever told it. By the way, how are you doing out there under the big sky?”
“Doctors say I’m making good progress.”
“Good enough to pay me a visit?”
“You can bark on it.”
“Tell me about the letters that have come in after you blathered to the whole world that you were sending me to a new home.”
“My favorite is from Priscilla and Bluedog down in Pulaski County.”
She writes: “I was touched deeply by your article about Cat your Catahoula dog. I too had a Catahoula, named Blue.
“Blue came into our life one night as we were driving on a back road to our home. He stood out under the headlights because he was white with brown spots and had blue eyes.
“He was too big to get in the car so we drove very slow and he followed us as my son Ryan leaned his head out the window. Once we were home he instantly bonded with Ryan, who was a teenager and had the misfortune to have autism and could not talk. He never had any friends to play with, but Blue filled a need.
“Ryan and Blue hung out every night under the basketball basket in the driveway. He walked Ryan up the street to the bus stop every morning. Ryan
tugged on Blue every which way, and Blue never showed any sign of being bothered by Ryan. They hung together like two peas in a pod.
“Then one day Ryan had to leave and go into a group home, and Blue could not go with him. It was a sad day for our whole family and especially Bluedog, which he came to be known as.
“I promised Ryan from my heart I would take extra good care of Bluedog, and maybe someday he could come to live with him. I am sorry to say that day never came, but Bluedog continued to live on our Kentucky farm and was a dear companion.
“Ryan did get to visit him a couple of times.
“Bluedog loved to circle and round you up, and he went for walks with us on the farm almost every night, even when he would lag behind because of his bad hips and age. He would always make the complete circle following our every step until he reached the finish line home.
“I remember he would even stand in a corner and stare and we would laugh. He also turned many revolutions in his bed every night until he would kind of fall in bed and groan. Sometimes we would count as he turned.
“I just loved my Bluedog so much.
“He attracted attention everywhere we took him. He always went with us everywhere we went.
“Bluedog grew old and his hips gave out, but he showed no signs of wanting to leave our side. So we would lift him up everywhere and especially in the car where he loved to go for a ride.
“Bluedog was so much more than a dog. He was a Good Friend ’til he had a stroke and passed.
“I cried and cried because my good friend was gone. His picture still remains on my computer screen, where I can gently pet his head and remember his famous bark. It has been almost three years now and I still miss him.
“My heart was touched when you had to leave Cat, but I pray you will see her again soon and take up where you left off.
“Sincerely, Priscilla and Bluedog.”
“Thank you, Boss—be seeing you, Bluedog!”