Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Snoopy, my great friend from high school

When I was in high school, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, my two best friends were Bobby Shaver and a neighborhood beagle named Snoopy.

No, I didn't name Snoopy after the Peanuts character; he wasn't mine. Snoopy belonged to a guy we knew as Chick, but he spent a lot of time with me.

I'd get up for school, and Snoopy would be waiting on the porch. He'd walk with me to the bus stop, and he'd be waiting on the little hill when the bus came back in the afternoon.

I took long walks back then, and Snoopy and a bunch of other neighborhood dogs would follow me. It's true that other dogs were often with me, but my neighbors thought of Snoopy as "my" dog.

When I was about to graduate from high school, I started thinking about Snoopy; he'd probably be gone by the time I graduated from college. And that saddened me.

But he never got close to living four more years.

The summer I graduated from high school, a bunch of us went up to the elementary school to play basketball. When I came down the hill, Snoopy was sitting near the main road, and I went over, greeted him and rubbed his head.

Before I finished walking home, someone told me that he'd seen a car run over Snoopy's hind end. I hadn't noticed the injury, and I was devastated. A few minutes after I got home, I looked outside, and, amazingly, Snoopy had dragged himself "home." He was out in the intersection near our house.

I called Chick and told him about Snoopy, and he said I ought to take care of it, since Snoopy was "my" dog as much as his. I told him I had no money for a vet (true) and no way to get him there (also true; I had no car).

A few minutes later, Chick and his family showed up to get Snoopy. I never heard any more about him.

Let's get one thing straight, some people thought Snoopy followed me because I fed him. Not true. I never fed him. For some reason, he just liked me.

He's the second-best dog I ever knew; Lady's No. 1.

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