She didn’t like her spot. Lucy liked her toys piled up next to it, her giraffe that she slept with every night, and the pile of soft blankets that made up her spot. But she did not like her spot.
She could not help her size. Being a mutt, she did not know what her mother or father really were, but somewhere along the line they had been large. And she was large. Not quite as big as the Great Dane she saw once walking down the street with a prissy lady, but large.
Her spot was not large. The WInnebago was not large.
Charlie grunted in his sleep and she lifted her head from the giraffe and look at him. Was he OK? Yes, he was OK. She lay back down.
In the morning, she could hear him start to wake up, so she woke up. She paced in front of him. She lay her head down near his hand.
Pet me, please? I’m hungry, too.
Charlie got up after Lucy pestered for about 20 minutes.
“OK, girl. I got the message. Grub for you and for me.”
He rolled out of the tiny bed and and looked in the cupboards.
“OK, what have we got for me?”
As he looked around the WInnebago, he scratched his ass and picked bits of food from his bushy beard. The beard was scraggly, as if he had inadvertently grown it in the middle of the night.
But me, first, please. I’m hungry, Charlie…
Charlie poked his head out of the fridge and looked at her.
As he filled her bowl, he sighed.
“This stuff smells like shit and I wish i could give you better, but its what we got for now, OK Luce?”
Lucy was happy. She devoured her meal and nosed around her bowl, hoping it would refill even though she knew it would not. She looked at Charlie, hoping he would give her more, even though she knew that wasn’t going to happen either. After a minute of staring at each other, she complied and sat, watching him as he went back to rummaging for food.
Lucy sat outside, on the grass near the neighborhood with the pretty houses and yards. She had no yard. She had this patch of grass. She sat, looking.
A pretty girl ran by, running. From something? To something? Or just running? Lucy watched her, then stretched. Lucy remembered when she and Charlie used to go running, when they were both younger. Her tail started to wag at the memory. She had a yard, then, too. It was big and there was a squirrel in the tree near the kitchen who would chatter at her. She hated the squirrel. She loved the yard. She would sleep there until Charlie got home and then they would go running. It was nice. She liked it much better than the Winnebago. That had come after Charlie had been sad for a long time. She was not sure why, but he was sad and he stopped leaving during the day, and he stopped running. He just lay in bed and she lay with him, trying to love him out of his sadness. He did not comply. He kept getting sadder, then one day they went on a walk with all his bags. too many bags. And then came the Winnebago.
She looked inside.
Charlie was in a nicer shirt, and he came outside with her leash.
“We might get a job, today, girl.”
She waited outside the brick building. It had been awhile, but nice people had pet her and talked to her. She liked them. They were nice. The nice lady from inside had brought her water, too, which was nice because it was very hot outside. She lay down because the hot pavement hurt her paws.
She waited because Charlie was inside doing something and he had talked to he the whole way here and been very happy. She liked it when Charlie was happy. It made her happy. He had brushed his hair and he gave her a bit of bacon from his breakfast. It was tasty.
She hoped they would go soon. She wanted to go home and the pavement was no place for a nap. She had slept a little bit, but then a little girl pulled on her ear and woke her up. She was not very happy about it ,but the little girl pat her nose and called her a good doggie.
Charlie came outside.
“Lucy, I’m not sure how that went.”
He untied Lucy and they started walking home.
“I’m tired of that shithole and I want to get us to a nice place, Lucy, where there are squirrels for you to chase.
Her ears perked at the word squirrels.
“Yeah, squirrels! And that job might be our ticket to a life of squirrels and a real bed and an address. The guy asked me all sorts of questions and then kept chewing his pencil. It was pretty disgusting, but the job is good and it pays real well. Real well, Lucy.”
Charlie kept talking and she kept walking.