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Dog People Hug
It's the middle of summer on the Wasington Coast, and it's raining. I'm sitting in the dreary parking lot of a gas station on the edge of a small town. In my hands is a tattered piece of paper on which there are a few doodles, some phone numbers, and the description of a car. I watch the traffic going by on the highway, wondering how long this will take, as a small dog sits shivering in my lap.

A few minutes later, a stranger's car slowly comes toward our end of the parking lot. "Is it them?", my mother asks excitedly. Bored, I look down at the paper and compare the writing to the car that is creeping toward us -- "Yeah, it's them".
The car comes to a stop near us. My mom pops out of our car on springs, smiling and waving, happily ignoring the downpour. The occupants of the other car, a man and a woman, cautiously exit their vehicle like swimmers in dark water. Mom, still smiling and laughing, walks up to them and gives them each a hug. They are surprised and stiffen as anyone would when a complete stranger hugs them.
They head back to our car, mom animating her conversation with wild hand gestures, the couple following, now smiling slightly at mom's kooky repartee. The cowering creature is whisked from the coat it was sharing with me. The couple's faces light up like Christmas angels as they too ignore the rain and coo at the pathetic little ball of fur as it wags its tail and licks faces and hands indiscriminately. Mother introduces me, but I elect to stay in the car.
The couple's attention is focused on the animal now happily cradled in their arms. Fifteen minutes later, the adoption papers are signed and we now have enough money left after paying the dog's vet bill to fill the gas tank of mom's twenty-four year old dirty red car.
The couple are bundling the dog into their car as if it were the greatest of treasures. Mom is saying good-bye and she gives them each another hug. This time they return it like old friends. Mom gets in the car and we watch as the exuberant people wave to us.... The same face that once graced my jacket now peers happily from the front passenger window, as we smile and wave back through windows smudged with nose prints.
We turn our car toward home and return to the daily grind, but the day seems a little brighter despite the rain. Two weeks later, we receive a picture of the little fuzzball, dressed in red, white, and blue for the fourth of July.

Dog people.
We are everywhere.
There is usually a difference between a person who has a dog and a dog person. You can spot a dog person right away. They may be walking a dog, carrying on a wonderful conversation with it, or asking its opinion of something in a shop window. Dog people can be rich or poor or in between. They come in all races, all religions. We don't have our own political party. No clubhouse. No newsletter. We have our dogs. It doesn't matter what breed they are. They are our dogs. We take endless delight in the fact that they defend us from the little birds on the power lines outside the window, or the squirrels in the park. We know by their bark if something is really wrong. We can't fall asleep at night without the sound of their snores echoing in our ears, and yes, we hug. We are dog people..... and dog people hug. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Written by Maya Dillard, June 2000 Daughter of Janet Dillard, Grays Harbor Pug and Boston Terrier Rescue (somewhere on the coast of Washington State) :o) A beautiful girl with a very big heart...a Dog Perso