I don’t know this dog’s name. I don’t know its gender or age. All I know--- is I count this dog a friend.
The dog is Enma’s. Enma is the Ecuadorian lady who hosted my three month stay of living in Cuenca. I had no responsibility for the animal. The dog owed me no loyalty or affection in return for its shelter and food. Yet we were friends.
Enma and her family own three dogs total that look almost like clones to the dog pictured. It was hard to tell which dog was which. I don’t pay that much attention and they look so much alike. One of these dogs disliked me. That dog would lunge at my ankle as I walked by--- try to bite. I had to be on guard. Enma said he treated everyone that way, but it didn’t seem so to me. It seemed he had a particular dislike for me. One of the other three little mops of a dog was neutral towards me. He had no particular affection, but he left me alone---he didn’t try to bite. And sometimes he’d visit in my room. One of those dogs, maybe more than one, for some dog reason appeared to come in my room just to go to the bathroom.
But the dog pictured above, he had a definite affection for me, and I grew to have more and more affection for him. I don’t know why that little rascal of a dog liked me, that furry funny little thing of a jumble of dog hair. He just did. He’d scratch the door to my room, wanting entrance. I’d open the door---he’d jump on my bed. He might start licking my face. Nose---lips--- ears…cheeks…continuously. Maybe five minutes. He has a small raspy feeling tongue. I don’t know--- it's a mystery. Seems he could tell if I was feeling bad. Once when I was bummed---I swear--- that dog’s little licks were just the cure.
Sometimes he clambered on the bedspread, lay on his back and I’d pet his stomach. Other times we’d play. I’d dart my finger to the dog and quickly pull it back. He’d try to catch it. He’d run around the room excitedly while I kidded him with this finger teasing.
Once, in the kitchen--- I got up from the table after lunch, and my dog friend snapped at that other dog who liked to nip at me. He intervened to protect me from getting bit. That's a friend.