A Gooey Kind of Hope

My childhood neighbors had a dog named Huey Lewis, because it was the 80s and that is what you did. Then Huey got hit by a car and the next day they bought a dog and named him Gooey, which rhymed, I guess, but it was a weird name for a dog who was not at all gooey. Frankly, it was unfortunate. He was dry and dandruffy and little snowflakes would fall from his neck if you scratched behind his ears too hard. His eyes dripped, his tail crooked to one side, and a protruding underbite made him look mad at all times, which was too bad because Gooey was anything but angry. He was sweet and simple. A perpetual enthusiast. His greatest joy was to lay in the sun. One day Gooey went to the vet and the diagnosis was something bad enough or expensive enough that his family took him to the pound. They gave up. They didn't have it in them to have him put down, but they let him be someone else's problem. I can't tell you what happened next, but the legend is that less than hour after getting to that pound, Gooey jumped that fence and ran home. Five miles. The family let him stay one more night and took him back in the morning. Again. And Gooey ran home. Again. Only this time the family wasn't home so their next-door neighbor, Mrs. Anthony, walked over to Gooey sitting on the driveway, ripped the pound tag off his neck, and before the day was out, she renamed him Harold and fed him steak dinner. And that was that. And he stayed there living happily for years, healthy, dandruffy, and spoiled rotten. Sometimes I'd ride my bike by Mrs. Anthony's yard and I'd see Harold laying in the sun, belly up, all snaggletoothed and drippy eyed, rubbing his joy in the faces of the family who gave up on him just when he needed them most. And it was wonderful.

"A Gooey Kind of Hope" 8x10, acrylic on canvas (SOLD)