Henry is the latest addition to our family.
He belongs to my oldest son, who’s come back home to live temporarily.
Henry is a Pit mix. His coat is a shiny, smoky gray with white markings. He has a tiny underbite, as bulldogs do. His eyes take in everything – he is incredibly perceptive of moods and every move we humans make. If he thinks someone is angry, he creeps over to his crate and goes in.
He is meek, the gentlest, most affectionate dog; he never seems to get enough belly rubs. He puts one paw up on your arm when you pet him. He is always ready to play – he brings tennis balls to us and drops them in our laps. If we’re too slow in responding, Henry nudges the ball closer to our hands.
If we fail to give Henry the attention he wants, he lies in the floor and plays dead. Poor neglected creature!
On the second night home, Henry hopped up on my husband’s and my bed, where he settled himself Sphinx-like, quite majestically, looking at us as if to say: “This is where I shall sleep henceforth. This is my place.”
And so it is. Henry snuggles deep between us every night, often sleeping with his head on my leg.
My husband tells our son: “Henry is our dog now.”
Our son rolls his eyes. “Yeah, sure, Dad.”
Henry has been used to living in an apartment, so having a big backyard where he can run around is an absolute joy to him. He’s in dog paradise.
One morning our son went to call him back in and Henry was gone.
Someone had left the gate open.
A stab went through my heart – I could hardly breathe. This is our boy’s beloved dog, he brings him here, and we lose him.
Our son had adopted Henry from an animal shelter.
He was a stray.
“HEENNNNNRRRYYYY!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. I ran outside in my pajamas, not caring if the neighbors woke up to see. “HEEEEENNNNNRYYYY!”
After a couple of heart-wrenching minutes, our son found Henry on the front porch, looking guilty. Once inside the house, Henry slunk over to his crate and lay down, looking at us with the whites of his eyes showing.
We are so thankful that you’re here.