My Old Dog Pain

samThere’s an old dog named Pain who lives at my house. He moves slow now and his muzzle his grizzled with white. He’s been here for a long time.
Mostly Pain just sleeps – sometimes he snores – sometimes he runs in his sleep – chasing imaginary rabbits and squirrels. His car chasing days are over, but in his dreams, he always gets that tire.
Once in awhile Pain wakes up, startled, alerted to some danger I can’t see, hear, or smell. He rises to his feet, barks, looks around, paces a bit, barks some more, chuffs, then, after I tell him to hush a few times, he settles down once more, as if nothing had happened. It’s an old game we play. I pretend nothing is wrong and he takes another snooze. Till next time.
Don’t disturb him when he’s asleep. Don’t put your hand by his mouth – he might wake and bite. It’s just the old instincts. He is protecting his pack – me. We don’t like strangers that mean us no good. You might get away with bribing him once, but it won’t work twice. He’s old but he’s still sharp.
Hello, Pain, old dog, old friend of mine…I pat his head as I walk by, scratch his ears and under his chin. He lifts his head, blinks, and goes back to sleep. We’ve been together a long time.

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