It was seven years ago, one morning my car would not start and I had one of my nephews drive me to work. As we pulled out onto what is both referred to as Moffett Road and Highway 98 in the city of Mobile,Alabama, commuter traffic was heavy as usual. There are five lanes on the section of road we were travelling, the center being a turning lane. As we drove about a minute we saw a little black shaggy dog in the turning lane, oblivious to the traffic buzzing closely by it in both directions. I said to my nephew “That dog is about to get killed. Pull over and see if it will get in the car.” My nephew pulled over and opened the door. The dog jumped in without hesitation and I took it in my lap and told it that it was one lucky dog. But now what to do with it? I decided to chance bringing it to work with me, since I had my own technical support lab in the very back of a large office building.
I brought the dog in and he sat on a chair while I logged in and got ready for another busy day working with computers, printers and dye sublimation products. When I walked over to pet the dog he did something I will never forget – and he won’t let me forget because he still does it like clockwork. On his back he hiked up a leg, exposing his belly and his , um, things – he was not fixed – letting me know he expected his tummy to be rubbed. So I rubbed his tummy and later found a collar and leash since it was one of the products sold for sublimation.
On my break I took him out back for a walk. At first he seemed quite surprised, like he had never been formally taken for a walk. But he walked with me obediently, and clealy enjoyed the special attention. He was not in the best of shape, showing skin and bones in some places. He appeared to have been lost for some time or otherwise not getting much attention. I immediately went to work to find his owner, placing flyers in nearby neighborhoods and asking people if they were familar with the dog. I took the dog to a vet and no chip was found, but the vet said he had heartworms. He described the treatment and cost and I said I would have to think about it. After a few days it seemed apparent I would be the new owner of this dog. In deciding his name I noticed a white patch of hair on his chest, so I called him Chester.
As it turned out, Chester is one super dog and over the years his “personality” revealed itself in many ways. Just as I found him – in the middle of the road – Chester insists on walking down the middle of the road. Most of my neighbors know this and graciously go around us. He also likes to play a game called Find the Car. Whenever I take him for walks in a park or other location, he likes to find the parked car, and is very proud of himself when he does, even if sometimes I have to help him a little. He also knows how to get special treats or “chicken” which is the code word for any kind of non-dog food treat. He delivers a high-pitched yawn like cry that he knows I like because whenever he does it I extra dote on him.
I don’t know his history before me but I know he loves being inside a car, parked or moving. I know a lot of dogs love cars but Chester is obsessed with them. He also has another move he makes, when and if he has to, and I call it him threatening me. If I am eating something he wants a bite of, but I am not cooperating, he might growl at me to let me know I am in eminent danger of perhaps being attacked or bitten if I don’t pay attention and share the food. As it turned out, Chester did not have heartworms – I took him to another vet for a second opinion. Do I consider him to be be my best friend, over other people? Yes. In fact though I can look back and recall some very dear best friends growing up, this dog has moved up the friends ladder and taken all time first place. There will be no blue ribbon for this accolade, just letting him know all the time that he truly is my buddy and I love him more than anything in the world.