Life with Mr. Anderson

There was nothing special about Jack. He was one of six puppies born on that cool fall day. He wasn’t the smallest and he wasn’t the biggest. He was average in nearly every way. His hair was short and black all over except for his right front foot which was a light, misty gray color. It looked like he had stepped in the ashes by the stove. Even his eyes were black. His nose was short. His ears were bent. His tail curled slightly. There was no doubt he would be a small dog when he grew up but for now he could easily fit in the hand of a large man.

The man who held him most was Mr. Anderson. Every day Mr. Anderson would pick up the pups and inspect them with his large, gentle hands. They were warm, strong, and safe. He would look into the dogs’ ears, turn them over on their backs, rub the length of their legs and look into their mouths. When he was done, he would gently return each pup to the box and reassuringly stroke them while he reached for the next.

Jack’s mother was named Maggie and she was wonderful. She was a short haired, short-legged dog. She was all brown with a black nose and tail. A couple spots of white appeared here and there but these were small and no one but Mr. Anderson noticed them. Her snout was short, like Jack’s, and her muzzle was warm and tender. No one knew what type of dogs went together to make up Maggie’s blood. One person said she was part beagle, another thought terrier, and another guessed collie. It was hard to say. She was probably a mix of those and more but it didn’t matter. To Jack she was Mom and that was all she needed to be.

Mr. Anderson loved Maggie. He was gentle with her and the new pups. Jack felt safe with him but was always ready to return to the box and his mother’s side. She nuzzled him and sniffed him to make sure he was fine and then would lie back down, allowing the growing pups to nurse.

This was a good place to live and Jack knew things would never change.

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