The children came home from school to find a white ,furry bouncing ball of energy in the courtyard. He defied all attempts to be caught, and bounced ceaselessly up and down, nipping at stray fingers held out to catch him and cuddle him. He was just a foot tall, in all probability, the product of a one night stand. A half bred they called him, and gave him away to their friends when he began to eat his brothers and sisters out of home an hearth.
His indomitable spirit defied all attempts to educate him, and the only time he would sit still, one crooked ear quivering with eagerness, was when the cook put down his bowl of milk, and told him to "STAY".He was not discriminating about his friends, all dogs big and small were challenged equally and he would come zipping down the lane , a few Dobermans and Alsatians snapping at his heels, wriggle his way through the wooden gate and immediately turn around and thank them for seeing him home and ask them to move on.
He didnt ask for much, apart from being fed and allowed to sleep on warm laps ,to chew on a few toes,hide a few ice cubes in the garden, shake a few cabbages to death and to be immediately let in the house after a few barks under the bedroom windows in the wee hours
of the night .
The days flew by, and the academic year was almost over . The children spent their days pretending to study , and the house was being packed up for moving soon after the exams. The father went ahead to his new posting and the rest of the family was soon to follow.
One night, as the mother finished her nightly phone call to the father, she realised something was amiss. Her toes felt soft and the usual pain from being gnawed on by sharp puppy teeth was missing. It was 11 pm, and the dog was missing ! He had failed to realise that with father away, no doors would be opened for him at unearthly hours. Well, since she couldnt abandon him to the chilly winter night, she decided to get him inside the house immediately.
So it was , that late one moonlit night ,a mother and her teenaged daughter stood in the shadow of a garage wall.They looked around at the empty fields behind the garage, hoping to see some sign of him.After a while they decided to call out his name again,
"LEO , LeeeeOOOO ,LeeeeOOOOO , Leo leo leo leo leeOOOOOO "
Ten minutes later, there was still no sign of Leo, and they were resigned to leaving him to his night on the tiles. Just as they decided to go back inside the house, the daughter felt something brush past her shins , heard a squealing noise and something white and soft hit the garage wall with a thud , rebounded at a tangent and disappeared inside the house at lightening speed.
After hurriedly checking each other for signs of physical damage, and finding none, the mother and daughter attributed the squealing to it's rightful owner , one scared-out-of-his-non-existant-wits and completely inappropriately named half spitz half mongrel !
Sixteen years and a few (lost) dog fights later, Leo is still alive, and though not kicking,still barking at all dogs big and small through the gate,still dragging himself upstairs with his two working legs, in search of the chicken lunch that my mother sometimes takes to the bedroom in order to catch her favourite soap on television.