You wouldn't think that a slug like the one pictured above, asleep on his back the perfect photo of a dog gone wild and degenerate and sleeping off a bender would be the one dog to help with all the sadness, hurt, rotten test scores and general stress that can occur on a school campus. But he does. He takes it all on his strong back and then, I guess, rolls over on it and goes to sleep.
For instance, on Wednesday, I walked him out for his morning poo, which had been delayed and I was sure was imminent. To the side of our usual potty grounds, there was a Verizon truck with the Verizon man standing and watching what was going on around campus. He watched as I took Jam's coat off and asked him to "Busy, Busy."
"What a beautiful dog," he said. I replied that, yes, Jam was awesome and he was a guide dog in training, to which the man said, he knew, which was why he didn't come over to pet him. I told him I was waiting for him to potty, trying to be delicate knowing that something indelicate was about to happen.
"I had to put my yellow lab to sleep a couple of weeks ago. She was a great girl." He said. "She looked kinda like him."
"Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that." Jam is now doing the poo circle dance and I'm trying to look nonchalant as I listen to him tell his story.
"She was the best. She ended up getting cancer and we just couldn't let her go through that." He steps over the bushes as Jam finishes up and I get out my poo bag.
"My boys loved her," He inched a little closer as I tied off the bag and dropped it on the ground. Jam was already staring at him and waiting. I turned to him.
"You know after she died, I was cleaning out my truck and I found this thumb drive," He kneeled down and I had Jam sit to be pet, but he was way ahead of me and laid down and rolled over for a belly scratch. "So I opened it up. You know, we have all these azaleas in the back yard and one year they had bloomed and were really pretty. I guess I had taken some photos. There were 12 photos on the drive and 10 of them were of her in front of those azaleas."
He reached up under his sunglasses and started to wipe away tears, but his other hand kept petting Jam.
"Well, isn't that her last gift to you?" I said.
"You know, we just got her for the boys." He said as he stood up and thanked me.
Sure you did, I thought.