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10

My Life As A Dog

went down to the edge of our lawn, she hung on to my tail and followed. The air was crisp. It was just getting dark, and from where I squatted by the big mock orange shrub I could see the outlines of Friedman’s truck and ladder against the sky. He stored all his roofing equipment next to our lawn, which I kept clipped and swept clean. I was on it every Saturday morning. Two days ago I had raked the leaves into plastic bags and put them on the curb for the recycle truck. Friedman never mowed a blade of grass or raked a leaf in his life. His lawn was a parking lot for his truck, trailer, roll roofing and barrels of tar that stank up the whole neighborhood. He was a spare unsmiling man with a high bony forehead and the mark of his trade embedded in his clothes and skin. He didn’t care what his property looked like or what his dog did.

The dog was one of those non-descript types, always dirty with clots of mud and tar dangling like dewberries from his belly hairs. He smiled a lot, his tongue half out, but he had a sneaky way

Page 6 - My Life as a Dog

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