It is like the stray puppy that walks up, you can't be too forward or it will startle and run away. You can tell the dog is hungry, thirsty, and in need of some TLC. This dog is on its last leg and you can tell the journey has weathered its poor soul.
What is this? A strange place, two humans, oh no! They've spotted me. It is unfamiliar voices, I creep closer, sniffing the ground around me, marking my territory from time to time to create me a safe haven. I do not see any kids to pull on my tail or ride me like a horse. So, I do what any dog would do, I wag my tail and grin.
I creep in closer still aware there could be threatening conditions lurking. Maybe they will have a drink of water to help me on my way, a hot dog dropped from the grill last night... what? Oh No, mam, stay back, easy now, I growled out. She stopped! What? Has she done this before? Met a stray lost puppy. She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a treat, knowing I am famished. I drop my stick, tuck my tail, put my head down and eyes up to hers and gently I ease in to take the treat from her hand. She caresses all of my fears with the gentle stroke of her hand as I chew the treat in gratitude. Her husband standing there by her, helplessly, doesn't know how she does it. "And what the dog doesn't know and I do," says her husband to himself, "is that the puppy will soon be flea-bathed, groomed, fed, and in a warm cozy bed with breakfast waiting in the morning. Just simply loved and cared for until God says a new home is prepared for the stray."
See, what the puppy, the man, nor the woman either know, is this puppy had to go on this journey and sometimes the road is long and hard, others they are short and sweet. But, they all lead us to our destiny and shape us proportionately for the next turn ahead. However, the puppy now knows we do not have to live on scraps every day.
Alice closed the computer and went to crawl into bed with Aoife and her little dog. Alice laid there and wondered where this journey would take them next and how it would shape their lives. Alice was thankful she had the escape of life through her short stories even though they were all reflections of the moments she was living in. For a moment in time, she could enjoy being a stray in worlds unknown.