Heart of a Pit Bull
She knew it was time. Six months earlier, Emma’s well loved but aged greyhound had withered and eventually died after a long illness. They had been best friends for more than a decade, and Batman’s rheumatic hips and clouded eyes hadn’t taken away his playful spirit. When the vet told Emma that the unusually sluggish behavior was due to advanced cancer, she had cried with her face buried in the dog’s neck until the last breath. Her house had been so lonely without the beautiful dog, and Emma had lovingly packed the bowls and leash in a box in the attic. “I’ll never love another dog,” she told herself. “It hurts too much to lose them.”
The days were lonely without her best friend, and her co-workers had eventually hinted that she might be ready to think about adopting another dog. Emma had demurred. She wasn’t ready. It hurt too much. But now, she knew it was time. As she walked past the shelter on her way home from work, she spied a volunteer walking a grey pitbull who was pulling enthusiastically. She was big - probably 65 pounds, and had a big white spot around her eyes like a mask. The minute she spotted Emma, she locked eyes with her and wagged her tail like they were lost friends, pulling at the leash to say hello. Her ears were big and her face looked like she was laughing. “Slow down,” the young ponytailed volunteer grunted, but she kept pulling, her tongue hanging out and his eyes sparkling with the fun of chasing a new scent.
When Emma approached, she sat, wagging her tail and waiting for her eagerly. “Hi, girl,” she crooned, looking at the volunteer. “Can I pet her?” she asked.
The volunteer shrugged. “Sure,” he said, scrolling on his phone.
Emma let the dog sniff her hand which she enthusiastically did and then licked it. The dog's eyes were huge and brown and when she looked at Emma,it was with complete recognition. “Aren’t you beautiful?” Emma sang to the dog, rubbing first her chin and then giving her a good pat on the head. The dog wriggled with delight, grinning at Emma, her tail batting furiously against the sidewalk. Emma knelt on the ground and the dog licked her face with zeal. “What’s her name?” she asked the volunteer.
“Robin,” he told her. "She seems to like you."
Emma nodded. "I like her, too."
"She's been here a while," the volunteer said. "'Bout six months."