He went to the porch that day, in the mid afternoon, to retrieve the newspaper. He was thinking, idly, of some hamburger, that he had, for his dinner, fixed in some fashion or other.
The dog sat there, and wagged its tail, as soon as John, John Winters, opened the door. John was surprised and said a very friendly: "Hello there."
The dog, was a dachshund that was a bit wintery about the muzzle and, apparently, totally friendly.
In going out to the porch, John had left the door open a bit and the dog, tail still wagging simply walked into the house. He turned to the right, as soon as he was in the house and went into the living room, where John, taking a day for himself this Saturday, and having done his work here in his workroom at home, had been reading a book about the history of Rome.
As he read his book, John had it propped up on his lap by a cushion, which ended on the floor, once John got up to retrieve the paper from the porch.
"Well," John said, "Come right in, pal. You look a bit tired."
John looked at the dog for a few moments, who had, in the meantime, simply climbed up on the cushion that was now on the floor and rolled into a ball, sighing and resting.
"Long day, I guess," John said, and each time that he spoke to the dog, the dog wagged his tail, hitting it against the cushion, on which he was resting.
"Well, I'm wondering if you lost your way or something," John said, and, as though he realized that John as speaking to him, the dog barked.
"Thought so," John said. "But you know what, pal; I was about to have some dinner. I have some hamburger that I was about to fry up and some potatoes — not very healthy, I know, but what I'm in the mood for now. So, why don't we just share the bounty?"
The dog barked at John's statement and John said: "Good enough; let's go to the kitchen and I'll get it ready, a plate for me and one for you."
The dog, tail wagging, eagerly accepted his plate of hamburger, into which John had also put a few potatoes, and, afterwards settled down again on the cushion in the living room, that he'd adopted from the very start.
"It's getting on, old pal," John said. "I'm not sure that we'll find anyone coming around just at this hour to seek you out but you're more than willing to stay the night here."
Again, the dog barked in response.
"You know," John said, "You're a great talker and a very polite listener. But there might just be someone out there who is grieving that you've gone missing. We'll have to see about that."
It was tv that evening, with John selecting a streaming movie. John moved from his reading chair, by the fire place to the couch in front of the tv for the evening's entertainment.
Almost as soon as John was established on the couch in front of the tv, the dog jumped up and rolled into a ball next to, and in contact with, John's thigh.
John idly stroked the dog's head and the dog wagged his tail, beating a tattoo of it on the cushions of the couch.
"What a nice treat you are," John said, his words accompanied by the beat of the dog's tail on the couch.
They spent the evening watching tv, and the dog hardly moved from his spot. When the movie was over, John asked: "How about a late night snack?"
The dog, as though understanding quite well, looked up at John and barked.
"Good enough," John said. "For me it's going to be yogurt but I have a treat for you, my friend."
John fetched his yogurt from the 'fridge and pull out a hot dog from the meat drawer, which the dog eagerly accepted and settled down by the front of the stove, on a small roundish carpet, to work on it. He seemed to be savoring it.
John Winters was a 37 yr old bachelor. He's spent a good deal of his grownup years learning his trade as an architect and working in his Dad's architectural business.
He'd dated off and on in a fairly normal fashion but was never taken enough with any one woman —a fact he mentioned to his lovely Mom, Adrienne, time and again, who always cautioned John to be not in a hurry.
Her message was always the same, and was simply a message about the truth: "Johnnie," (Her constant name for him.) "You are such a lovely man; your turn will come, probably unexpectedly at that. Just be patient."
John did in fact cultivate his patience and put his time, energies and efforts into the business, which was doing remarkably well, and which, his Mom and Dad told him, would one day be all his.
He lived alone in a large house that he'd bought for himself, all spread out over one lovely level, with various downstairs rooms, including John's workout room —he was particularly faithful to his workouts. It also had an in home office for him, where he could work on current projects.
He had often thought of a pet, but it was an idea that just sat in the back of his mind. At least until that very day, when the dachshund invited itself into the house for a rest, and into John's life.
After the bedtime treat, John told the dog: "It's shower time for me, old pal. Tomorrow we'll see what we can do about finding your loved ones. It's not that I don't want you to stay; it's just that I'm afraid that someone is missing you and grieving about it."
As John took his shower and, afterwards, got into his pj bottoms for bed, the dog stood on a rug in the bathroom and simply watched.
After the shower, John started doing the rounds of the house to lock the doors. At the back door, the dog began to bark. John wasn't sure if the visit was really, at that time, over or what was the case.
He did, however, open the door and watched as the dog wandered into John's large back yard, picked an area and did his business.
Then, as John watched, the dog came wandering back to the house, where John stood, now holding the door open. As though he were the very master of the place, the small, light reddish brown dog simply walked in and sat on a kitchen rug, with his tail thumping.
John understood right away and got a piece of a hot dog from the fridge to reward the dog for going outside.
"I'll clean that up in the morning," John said and the dog barked, as though in agreement.
John sat then, with the dog between his knees, and stroked the dog's head for a bit, while the dog bounced his tail on the floor, receiving the richness of the attention that John was giving him.
"You're wonderful!" John said, and the dog barked.
"Well, what do you think?" John asked. "Me on the couch or do you want to try the bed out?"
The dog barked twice then.
"Okay," John said, "The bed it is then."
John walked into the bedroom and pulled back the covers, getting into bed. The dog, sitting on the floor, only watched John for a few moments and then jumped up on the bed himself, rolling into a comfortable ball backed up against John's thigh.
They both were asleep fairly quickly.
The next day was Sunday and, again, an off day for John, though he usually looked over the work that he had on his board down in his in-home office.
When he woke, the first thing he saw was the dachshund's happy face, and heard the bouncing tail.
"Time, pal?" John said, then, thinking, "I might begin to call you Moses, since you've come, kind of, out of the wilderness to me here. But let's get you out and then it'll be breakfast. I will go shopping today and get you some proper food though. We'll make due again this morning."
The dog wagged his tail eagerly, as John went through this speech.
John fixed himself some breakfast and also got some of the left-over hamburger from yesterday for 'Moses', as he was calling him.
Moses went out first thing and again used the back yard to do his things. John waited on the porch and, when the dog was done, used a plastic bag to gather it up and trash it.
Moses attended John then, as John got breakfast for the two of them ready.
"Think that we'll wait today and keep and eye on things to see if anyone is searching for you, pal." John said, with Moses apparently attending to what he was saying.
They did it that way. John, who usually was a church attender, skipped that morning to spend it with Moses and see if anyone was out seeking him. No one came.
They settled down that day to football games, in which John had an interest, though he was not, by any means, a rabid fan.
Moses curled up next to John on the couch and they simply had a great day of it.
In the afternoon, as a break from the football, John did go to the store, with Moses in the seat next to him, and he bought things for the dog: food, and some toys he might like. Then it was back home to the games for the two of them.
To see them, at that point, you might have taken them for life-long friends, even though Moses had only been there for a day or so.
It was a pleasant day and no one came looking for Moses.
The next day was a work day for John, though the projects that were in the front of his que were things that he could work on at home. It gave him the chance to spend the day again with Moses.
They had a rhythm that was being established for themselves. It was up in the morning and out for Moses, with John doing the clean up and then breakfast.
The one wrinkle to their schedule this day was the walks that John took, several times, with Moses. He was doing it to see if anyone laid any kind of claim to his canine pal, though by now he was half hoping that no one would.
.... There is more of this story ...