Good dog

I was sitting on a bench outside the doctor’s office with the dog, and it was just remarkable how many people smiled, cooed, or actually came over to pet the animal. It’s amazing how his simple presence gives total strangers a moment or two of happiness.

He’s too hyper to bring into an old folk’s home or a hospital to cheer up patients — you wouldn’t want a crazy little dog jumping on people and running around in situations like that — but sometimes I wonder if I should just sit with him outside places where people are stressed or sad.

There’s an elderly woman who lives in my neighborhood, and whenever I walk Dozer by her house she comes out and fawns over him. The first time we met her, she thanked me, saying she really needed a pick-me-up, and I could sense from the way she was talking that she was going through a hard time. A few months later, she told me her husband had just passed away. I haven’t walked by her house in a while. I need to make a point of doing that.

I feel good when people react so positively to my dog. I don’t believe any of us was put here for anyone’s particular purpose. I believe we define our own purposes. Dozer’s purpose seems to be bringing people small moments of delight and joy, and it makes me feel good to help Dozer serve his purpose.

He’s a good dog.

About Greg van Eekhout

Greg van Eekhout is the author of the novels California Bones, The Boy at the End of the World, Kid vs. Squid, Norse Code, and other stuff.
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