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short story

Seadog

That is because I was the 'pup' of his pack leader, my Dad.

So, at some point we moved to a house with practically no yard.  We kept him for awhile, but he just kept getting more and more out of shape until my Dad made the (correct) decision to let him roam the farm of one of our family's best friends, Billy Sligh.

A year or so went by and we would go out to see Billy now and then, so I could see Seadog.  He thrived there like he had at OUR farm when we got him.

Then, sometime during the following year Billy Sligh died.  In the commotion of getting his funeral ready (he was estranged from his blood family) and in my Dad's grief (and mine too I guess), Seadog was practically forgotten.

A week or so after the funeral, while my dad was putting Eli's property in order, we decided to also pick up Seadog.

Well, we couldn't find him.  We called and called and nothing. He was known to spend the night in the woods, so my Dad brought me back the next day.  But to no avail.  We went back every day for 2 weeks and nothing.

After that, we would just stop by the property when we went by it on other business; maybe twice a month.  But we never found any sign of him.

About 3 or 4 months later, the property was sold. My dad promised to ask the new owners to keep an eye out for him, but I insisted on going out and doing one last search.

There are things that happen in a young man's life that define many things they will believe and believe in for the rest of their lives.  What I am about to describe was one of those moments for me.

We went out to the farm and spent probably two hours searching for him, actually entering the woods some.  I screamed for him until my voice was hoarse. My Dad, probably feeling completely bad about the whole thing, finally told me it was time to give up.

I remember starting to cry real hard and screaming "SEEAADDOOGGGG!" one last time at the top of my lungs while my dad led me to the step van (our mode of transportation then...lived with a lot of ppl so needed it...lol).

Then (and this is exactly as it happened...or at least exactly as I remember it happening), off in the distance...coming from the woods...I heard a howl.  Not a bark...a definite howl.

I stopped crying instantly and my dad looked very surprised!

I was like "ITS HIM! ITS HIM!"

My dad told me it couldn't be him.

Then another howl.

Now, this is in mid to eastern Virginia...there are no wolves there.

I started screaming Seadog's name over and over.

And another howl...but closer.

You get where this is going I am sure.

Just like the end scene of practically every "Dog and his Boy" story w/a happy ending (F*ck Old Yeller...I hate that movie...lol), Seadog burst out of the woods and stopped at the edge.

This is the moment...The sun was just going down behind the woods and Seadog was lit up perfectly from one side...and he was magnificent!  Truly a God of Dogs! He now LOOKED like a wolf!  The hair on his chest and on the back of his hind legs had grown long, and he was rock hard w/muscle!

I screamed his name one more time and he burst forward at a dead run and hit me hard enough to knock me down and was licking my face so much I could barely breath!  My dad just stood there astonished.

After the immediate reunion, my Dad said to me that maybe, since Seadog so obviously was able to fend for himself, maybe it wasn't fair to HIM to take him back into town with us.  I didn't like it, but had to agree.  All I could think was, "Just look at him!"

So, without calling Seadog at all, we simply got in the stepvan and started it.

Well, Seadog made his own decision and trotted into the step van and sat on the couch we had in there like he had never left us, sitting on the couch with his butt and tail on the couch and all four legs on the floor of the van, like a human...like he had always sat in the stepvan. And refused to leave.

We spent another 3 or 4 years with him before he succumbed to arthritus and mange like so many white shepards.

And all those "Dog and his Boy" movies?  Yea...I cry like a baby every time.