Picture it and Write: Henry’s home

by joetwo

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s Picture it and Write from Ermilia’s blog here. Once again the picture is not mine, I only use it for inspiration. Anyway, Enjoy.

Henry’s Home

My Aunt Grace never really had a job, not as such. Sure she pottered around a bit, worked the odd day in the grocer’s or the post office. But those were never permanent, more helping out when there was a need. The thing was, money was never an issue. She had inherited a whole row of houses in the town that she rented for below market rates, more than enough to cover her needs. She was generous to a fault, always willing to drop a meal to the hungry or buy a round in the bar. She was an angel of mercy to many and everyone in the town had a soft spot for old Grace.

When you’re that loved, people are inclined to forgive most of the less profane eccentricities. In Grace’s case it was her ranch, about ten miles out of town. She had inherited it along with the other properties but didn’t seem to have a farming bone in her body and it quickly went to seed. What had once been prime agricultural land became a twisted mass of bushes and strong saplings. It was into this world that Henry was.

Henry was a Labrador pup that Grace had found in an alley behind a dumpster when she was helping out at the diner. She had given him some scraps that he wolfed down and after her shift was up she found he was still there. Henry had no tags and when Grace put the word out that she had found him no one came to claim him. She surmised the he must have been thrown away, another refugee from Christmas two months earlier. Well; if no one else wanted Henry, Grace was going to give him a home.  

Henry loved the semi wilds of Graces ranch. He sniffed around the hedges for hours bringing back sticks and stones and God knows what else for his new best friend. But it soon came to pass that Grace had the feeling that Henry was in need of a companion.

So Grace made the trip down to the pound and brought back Jasmine, a red setter. Followed a couple of weeks later by Colin the Collie. It began to become abundantly clear that Grace had found her calling in life.

The three dogs she had soon became ten and then quickly enough thirty, all of them strays. Both the pound and the Sheriff had her number on speed dial since she was always willing to take on another friend. They were all looked after by the local vet and, after one too many incidents, all neutered. Every single one of them happy.

That was now my Aunt spend the rest of her years. Inside a maelstrom of tail-wagging, tongue waving, and nose nuzzling. That is not to say things were all plain sailing. There were one or two bad apples as bite-marks would testify not to mention the sad attrition of old friends including old Henry who left to chase squirrels in the sky at the grand old age of eighteen. There were some tears then.

But it was worth it and in the end Grace left the ranch in trust, to all canines who would have need of it, Henry’s home for Dogs, into perpetuity.

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