A Story About Otis
Let me tell you a story about Otis.
Last year, we got hit with a fairly big snowstorm for where I live. Before it got too bad, I bundled up in my puffy coat and took Otis for a walk.
Otis loves snow almost as much as he loves walks and food (especially hot dogs) and butts. So he and I went tramping through the neighborhood, exploring the half-built houses that stood out starkly against the rapidly falling snow and gray sky. We took selfies in the street. We had a snowball fight. (He won.)
And then we went back home.
I had just finished towelling him dry when my husband pulled into the garage, crestfallen that he’d missed a jaunt in the snow with his best gal and our pup. So I asked Otis his favorite question: “Hey, buddy, want to go for a walk?”
He did—and he was just as excited for this second walk as he had been for the first one, even as we travelled back through our steps from before.
And another story:
Over the summer, Otis and I drove up to my parents’ old house in New Jersey. My dad had recently lost his job, and so they were selling the oversized monstrosity they called home and moving into their sailboat until they figured out what they were going to go. (I know.)
Otis and I were going to snag some stuff they no longer had room for and help them pack.
So we packed up into my husband’s car and started driving north.
Now, I had a good selection of podcasts to keep me going after I lost the signal of my local NPR station. But soon enough, I got tired of listening to people talk, and so I turned on my playlist of instrumental music. (It’s basically all of the “Mass Effect” and “Dragon Age” OST plus a bunch of Big Giant Circles tracks and “Pacific Rim.”)
Otis’ favorite? “Arishok” from the “Dragon Age 2” soundtrack. And who could blame him; that song is awesome.
He howled and yipped along with it—and then gave me sad eyes in the rear-view mirror until I played the track again.
And this time, we both howled along to it.
And one more story:
When the weather isn’t horrible, I like to run outside, and Otis is my running buddy. (Otis loves runs almost as much as he loves hot dogs.)
As long as he gets a walk in first so he can, shall we say, take care of business, he’s a good running partner.
But where he really shines is as a motivator.
He always wants to go for a run in the morning. Always. Every day. He’s never too tired or too depressed or too sore to go out. His enthusiasm always gets me going—even when I really don’t feel like exercising. And I’ll tell you what: I’ve never regretted getting out there and going for a run with my buddy.
So, that’s my tribute to Otis, my weird little shelter pup. He’s kooky and endearing, and his head is too big for his body. But I wouldn’t trade him for the world.