Some of you'll remember my posts about Puff making friends with a homeless VietNam vet we saw on our morning walks. The Topeka VA Hospital grounds adjoin that of the sports complex and nature preserve where we go every morning for a 2+ mile offleash walk and Puff's retrieving.
Puff's nature is to bark at anything new or strange (or sometimes different or over there instead of right here). For her first 4 years, she barked at our neighbors on either side of us whenever she saw them drive in and get out of their cars even though she'd often run over to them, still barking, and try to plant a wet tongue on a face before darting away.
So it wasn't unusual that she'd bark at the form in the sleeping bag, bicycle propped against the bench, in a secluded spot we passed just before entering a trail into the nature preserve.
Puff barked at him coming and going. Sometimes an arm would raise in a wave as we went in and he'd be getting organized and ready to leave when we were on our way out.
Eventually we met him -- Ron (Trussheim). He's a small, lithe man, about 5' 5" tall, shoulder length light brown hair, American Indian ear rings, moccasins, and a few other native touches. Puff was skittish around him at first but I gave him a few kibbles to offer Puff from his hand and Puff decided she liked him enough to let him pet her.
"My alarm clock!" he called her.
Ron was getting treatment at the VAH and, I presume from some things he said, that he gets a small monthly pension he picks up at a P.O. Box. He seems to much prefer the life of a hobo to renting a small room and no doubt whatever money he gets goes further when there are no rent, electricity, gas, etc., bills. His possessions are his bike, sleeping bag, guitar, a few extra clothes.
Last summer we said our goodbyes as he was about to head west but then a bout of bad weather -- floods, I think -- aborted that. Then last fall he said he was going to Lawrence, KS, (about 25 miles east) and live under a bridge. Lawrence would be a good fit for him, I thought, because it has a lot of hippies with whom he'd share some views.
Suddenly, this morning on our way in (we were late), we heard a voice calling to us and here was a figure pushing a bike, guitar case on his back, coming from a roofed shelter. Puff ran towards him, wagging her tail, and jumped up on a table sized flat rock so she could be closer to him. He was delighted to see her, too, and I gave him some kibble to help them celebrate the occasion.
Ron is back in town and involved in more activities at the VAH.
So it sounds like we'll be seeing more of our friend.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
I bet Puff makes a great friend.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
Dawww...I bet he was glad to see Puff too.
But dogs are supposed to only live in the present. NOT
How nice for the man and for Puff, and you!
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
Call me sappy, but that just brought a tear to my eye - this coming from a girl who used to look for "the town bum" on Thanksgiving to bring him some turkey. What a wonderful story. He must have been so happy to see you two!
Great story Bob, I remember when you posted about Ron leaving. Isn't it nice to see them "remember things"?
I bet you two made his day as well. It's good to see old friends.
I remember the original story but I'm like Robin... that brought a happy tear to my eye, too.
Seamus and Flynn