First Line Friday — Meant to Be

The black dog followed them home. Eric knew this would be trouble. He and his wife, Rhonda, had lost their beloved black shepherd/Lab mix, Shadow, in November and Rhonda had begun talking about getting another dog. But Eric was dead set against it. “Having a dog will tie us down, Ronda,” he argued. “We finally have the freedom now to travel and go where we want for however long we want to go any time we wish to.”

“We’re in the middle of a goddam pandemic,” Rhonda argued back. “They’re ordering us to stay home and leave only when it’s essential. So where is it that you think we’re going to go?”

As they approached their house, Rhonda looked back to see the dog stop and look at her with its sad, brown eyes. She leaned down and motioned for the dog to come forward, which it slowly and cautiously did. “Look, Eric,” she said. “No collar, no tags.” Getting down on her knees, she hugged the dog and the dog rewarded Rhonda by licking her face. “We can’t just leave this sweet dog out here. It’s starting to get dark and it’s supposed to get down into the thirties tonight.”

Eric knew his wife well enough to know that there was no point in arguing. “Fine,” he said, “we’ll bring this mangy mutt in, give it some food and water, and we can take it to the vet tomorrow to have it checked out. But then we have to find out if he’s anybody’s pet dog and, if so, to see if they’re looking for him.”

Rhonda smiled, “It’s a her, Eric, and she looks so much like our Shadow, doesn’t she? It was meant to be, Eric.”

Written for the First Line Friday prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, where the first line is “The black dog followed them home.”

18 thoughts on “First Line Friday — Meant to Be

  1. Marleen December 5, 2020 / 5:06 am

    Drew me right in. Have you found a str… sweet dog, yet?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pensitivity101 December 5, 2020 / 8:37 am

    Nice story Fandango. Have you any thoughts about getting another dog? We have no plans to.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cagedunn December 5, 2020 / 2:35 pm

    After our last dog crossed to the other side, it took me five years to agree to another dog. Now this one is old and failing, and I can’t bear the thought of it, and I doubt I’d get another dog.
    Unless one just happened to follow me home, desperately in need of a pack (and as I don’t leave the house much …).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango December 5, 2020 / 10:32 pm

      I told my wife after we lost our dog recently that I don’t want another one because, like you, I don’t want to have to go through the agonizing decision with another old dog when that time comes. But she misses our dog so much that she keeps pressing to get a new one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • cagedunn December 5, 2020 / 10:36 pm

        It’s too hard, either way. Last time, I visited the shelters and worked with some of the ones with socialising issues, but I can’t do that again.
        I hate the thought of living without a dog because only a dog has that place in a heart where true trust and unadulterated love lives, no expectations, no obligations. They’ll love you regardless of station, attire, location. Always. Pack is pack.
        they just don’t live long enough (the dog before this one lived to be almost 21, but it still isn’t long enough).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Taswegian1957 December 5, 2020 / 2:54 pm

    I doubt I will have another dog of my own after Cindy passes. My sister has two already. I’ve always had a dog but without one I would be free to travel more when that becomes possible again so I can understand your reluctance but then not having a dog would feel strange.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stine Writing December 5, 2020 / 7:19 pm

    Aw, what a sweet story. That was like the time my husband came into the house with an Australian Shepherd. Apparently, he just came into our garage and stuck around. His poor little paws were all cut up. I brought him to the vet the next day, sort of hoping he wasn’t lost and that we could keep him, but he had a chip and was actually a neighbors from through the woods. I guess Jack had run out of the yard and must have gotten disoriented. He was running through the icy woods and must have seen the light in the garage on. Lisa and I became friends after I returned Jack to her.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carol anne December 6, 2020 / 9:10 pm

    Awww! I’m a doggie person so this was right up my alley! I loved it! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. leigha66 December 13, 2020 / 11:22 am

    It is very hard to replace a beloved pet. It took me about three years before I was ready to get another cat… he will never replace the love I had for Stumpy but there is definitely an emptiness without them. Good story Fandango!

    Liked by 1 person

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