Closest picture I could find to Gray although he was darker and weighed in at a good 200 lbs. probably more and his fur was much longer than this (but you get the idea)
Conundrum, in the form of a puzzle or mystery.
True story, I kid you not!
Several years ago, while living in an apartment building, centrally located, close to grocery stores, schools, Hardy Bay, with a large treed area behind it I had a chance to visit my own conundrum.
We lived on the ground floor and having given up driving due to my lack of eyesight, I was waiting for my daughter to pick me up to go shopping.
My cat, Porsche, was in seventh heaven, he could now come and go freely for the first time in 10 years as this was a ground floor apartment. I’d been living on the 4th floor of another apartment since he’d been gifted to me for a birthday. His little paws had only hit the ground (when he’d used one of his nine lives and dropped four floors) and then rescued.
So you can imagine, he was having great fun on the biggest adventure of his life. In out, in out, and at first, we were able to leave the ground floor window open a couple of inches so he could come and go (this would change due to raccoons) but that’s another story.
On occasion, a big dog (a mix I’m sure) that I was never able to determine, would wander on past the picturesque window and flatten his nose against it to nod at me, then lick the window. This went on for days upon days and then probably about two months until the incident in question.
I finally stuck my hand out the window to pet its nose. It nuzzled my hand and after ten minutes would turn and leave. You can imagine how offended Porsche was. That nose couldn’t have gone in the air any higher and I was the worst traitor of the century. The look said it all. “How dare you! Fraternizing with the enemy?”
I digress. I was standing on the edge of the parking lot just on the pavement past a strip of grass (four feet wide) in front of my window.
The dog in question, whose head was mid-thigh level with a thick, long, heavy coat of hair sauntered across the empty pavement and headed my way. Tail wagging, head bouncing, he was walking directly to me and he’d brought two other friends along, and they were just as huge! I was a little nervous as you can imagine. Not only had one unknown dog approached, but three! I literally didn’t know whether I should stay or run. The big dog in question rubbed up against my leg and circled me, head up expecting pets. So I patted his head and chatted to this unknown animal. He was pleased by the attention and it was reflected in those big beautiful eyes. His friends were two feet away, and sat down on the pavement, waiting on (let’s call him gray as I don’t have a name for him) for instructions.
Suddenly he became ‘agitated’ although that’s too strong a word. Later I would call it concern. He started rubbing against my legs, circling me, then he yipped. The other two dogs stood at attention with one standing two feet in front of me, the other two feet left of me. “Gray was still circling me rubbing against me so hard I nearly lost my balance. I moved away to pet his head and asked him to stop and what was he doing? He continued circling and pushing me toward the building. I went left, he pushed me to the right. This push-pull continued with me side-stepping him while he continually circled and kept pushing me toward the apartment.
Suddenly all three were on alert standing, staring across the parking lot toward the garbage cans a good 25 feet away positioned in front of the forested area. They moved in closer as ‘gray’ became more insistent that I move the other direction or leave. At one point I nearly fell over he was that insistent.
The low back in the throat growling began. They moved four feet away from me toward the forested area but continued encircling me. The growling became earnest with the hair raised on the back of their necks, in attack mode.
I was considerably concerned at this point, ready to listen since they were now quite disturbed. However every time I now moved toward the apartment building, gray pushed into me from the opposite direction indicating I needed to stay put. My eyesight isn’t good and I couldn’t see anything in the woods due to the distance and although I heard a few twigs snapping, I honestly saw nothing. It’s not unheard of for cougars, bears, wolves or foxes to meander into town. (I must regale you with one of the many stories about the animals visits one day. Most are delightfully amusing.)
“Gray stood on my left his body pushed up against mine and he looked up at me his face indicating concern and wariness (he’d obviously accepted I wasn’t going anywhere). Within moments, my daughter arrived and I headed toward her car and they walked along side me until I opened the door and got in. Gray sniffed at my hand, and once I was inside, they left, through the heavily wooded area.
We moved to a second-floor apartment and Gray came looking, visiting my former window which I could see from the new location. He’d wander the full length of the window rubbing his face along its length.
He finally found me on the second floor, and for several weeks sat below my balcony peering up or he’d simply lay there for hours on end. Finally, he stopped coming to visit. I’d seen him around town (the eternal wanderer) for years after that incident (my own personal conundrum).
Why would a hitherto unknown beautiful big creature come to visit me regularly (he wasn’t looking for hand-outs) then protect me from whatever menace had awaited me that day, continue to visit and finally move on?
I’ll probably never know the answer to that question, but I was then and still am touched by this warrior whose only thought was my protection.