I was in middle school when this happened, my dad and I loved hanging out on the front porch every evening, we looked at the stars at night and talk while he drinks his beer and I drink whatever soda was in the fridge that night. One night while we were headed back inside we noticed something was on the rocking chair at the other side of the porch. We rarely sat on that chair so we knew that there shouldn’t be anything on there, when we turned on the lights, we saw a little dog, just lying there staring out in space.
The dog was small, and looked like it was just a few months old, it clearly needed a bath based on how it looked. When we approached it was rather defensive, growling a bit as we get to close, showing a distrust in people and may have been subject to some form of abuse. But my dad decided to slowly approach it with food and water, he slowly gained its trust. We let the little fella stay on the porch for the night and left it be, thinking that it would be on its way somewhere the next day. But the next morning the dog was still there, my father loved animals so he decided that we should keep the little guy.
Earlier that year our two dogs, a terrier and Labrador, died because of old age, they have been our family dogs since I was in kindergarten, and it was sad to see them go. I remember calling out the terrier for her lunch the day she died, I thought she was just sleeping but when I approached her she was gone. A few weeks later our old chocolate Labrador followed her to the next life.
Mom and dad’s relationship was a bit strained that year too, with the company going bankrupt and the finances not as strong as it used to be, a lot of negative energy was in the house that time.
The dog, who we decided to call Suzuki because he came the same day my dad sold his Suzuki Samurai he loved driving so much, became somewhat a nice little break for everyone in the house. My sister loved the little guy, my dad let him sleep on the bed with him, and I was rather fond of dogs and missed having one.
He woke me every morning by going to my bed and like me awake, and he played around with everyone. When my dad was fixing one of his cars Suzuki slowly took tools from his tool box and hid them around the yard. My sister gave him his first bath and fondly played with him, even my mother who wasn’t very fond of animals became close to Suzuki.
About two weeks passed, and things were better in the house, all that stress from the problems we were facing just seemed to ease down. I remember it like it was just his morning, I had a friend over and we slept on air mattresses in the living room, like every morning Suzuki approached me and tried to wake me up, he pulled my ears liked my face, but I slept late that night so I couldn’t find the energy to wake up at that moment, so I pulled him in the covers and hugged him like a teddy bear, he behaved himself and just lied there, after which Suzuki crawled out of the covers and liked my face. It was only later that day did we realize that Suzuki wasn’t around the house or the yard anymore, we looked for him for a few days, and end up talking about the last time we saw him, and what was all common with our stories was that, for a moment he uncharacteristically behaved himself and just sat or lied near us before giving a little lick and going, as if saying goodbye. It became clear to us that maybe Suzuki had somewhere to go, that our house was just a stop in a long journey he was taking. My sister was the one who was the saddest when Suzuki left, the day he left my sister came home with a new collar him, a collar we put on a stuffed dog we now call Suzuki.
Life is filled with introductions and goodbyes, we sometimes meet people that change us or allows us to see the silver lining of our troubles before leaving. Suzuki came at a troubled time, a time when we had no animal companions, a time when we were short on money, a time when the family’s relationship was strained. Suzuki allowed us to have something to do as a family when we needed it the most, and though I will never know what happened to him and if he got to his destination, I will always be grateful the dog that appeared on our porch, to Suzuki.