One of Her Kind


My story began about fifteen years ago on a hot day in August – dog days they call them. For me, it was the only chance I would ever have to go to my forever home.

It was about two or so that afternoon and my strength was ebbing after having been mauled by a predator much larger than I. Yet my bottle-brush tail I could still hold high and my search-light eyes gleamed in the darkness under a garden shed where I darted after the mauler had been diverted by the big one. He coaxed me out and picked me up in his big hand, cradling me to his chest where his heart and mine rhymed together. The one with a beard looked me over and knew I needed to go to the one who cares.

Coming to my forever home, I was immediately looked after and tended to by the round one and the one whose hair tickled my nose. I was named Smudge because the round one said I was as black as a smudge pot, whatever that is. I just knew she loved me.

Yes my story is somewhat different from many others of my kind. Sometimes our kind are thought of as unnecessary and are tossed into a river, or are shunted off into areas of danger. But I never knew anything other than being loved and appreciated. The round one occasionally became exasperated at my antics, especially when I used my needles to stitch tiny little holes in her legs. She didn’t really get mad at me because she loved me so much.

One of my fun things to do (and one of the things she would laugh and laugh at) was to get right on the bed just as she was changing the linens. Boy, was that fun! She would put on the bottom fitted sheet and I would jump up and leave foot depressions all over the tautness. Then when she billowed the top sheet over me, I’d stay under it until she got weak from laughing as I scooted away from her. I knew she loved me ‘cause she told everyone about it!

And so my years went on with nothing but joy until the big one died and some others of my kind came to live with me. They didn’t have anywhere else to go, but it was really hard getting to know them. The big yellow one didn’t like me. I think he was jealous because he knew how much the round one loved me.

One day the yellow one threatened me to the point where I needed to find safety. I jumped into a chair and hurt my head. I was bleeding from my mouth; it soon stopped and I thought I was home-safe. Not long after that, however, the round one noticed that I had developed bad breath. I was very embarrassed because those of my kind are known to be fastidious about cleanliness. When the one with the beard took me to the one who cares, he said I had an infected tooth socket. I had to stay with him awhile so he could take out the tooth and make me better. He also thought I might not be well again because the bones in my face were deteriorating, possibly from cancer! Well, you can imagine my dismay. How could it ever be that my kind would get cancer!

There weren’t many mornings, even when I might not have felt like it, that I didn’t greet the round one after she got up to make ready for her day. I would look at her with my searchlight eyes to tell her to let me go. I loved her too much to let her see me get weaker and weaker. At the last, at the round one’s urging, the one with the beard took me to the one who cares and he told us all to let me go. I was ready.

I now rest among others of my kind in a place of honor and respect, nestled in a warm red blankie – I always did like that color! I was different from many others because my forever home was always filled with love. I know the round one yearns for me. She and I are sisters of the soul; inextricably linked by the One who made us all.

In lieu of a recipe for your physical nourishment, please give one of Smudge’s kind a forever home and nourish your spirit.