The Sheep Dog And The Wolf Chat Again

Back in 2011, I wrote a piece called The Sheep Dog And The Wolf Go For Coffee. It is about old rivals crossing paths a few decades and miles from where they once tormented each other. You might want to read that one before you go on to this post.

Yesterday, the old men met again. The Wolf is still with us. Though his body is starting to fail, his spirit has grown healthier.

The Wolf was outside the coffee shop when I drove up. He’d been kind of scarce. The word was that he’d been hospitalized.

Gray wolf. Fran├žais : Loup. Nederlands: Wolf T...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The old wolf started roaming the neighborhood again a few weeks ago. I’d see him now and again, pushing the walker he’d been using about a year. I wanted to check on him, but I kept to my practice of not stopping to engage him. I’d stopped to engage him quite a bit in our past and I know he’s still wary when a police car pulls up near him.

There he was, sitting in the sun on his walker. He was talking to a young woman and her child. Their innocence made me smile. They had no idea who The Wolf was. He spoke gently with them; they laughed, accepted his blessing and moved on. While I held the door for the mom and her son, The Wolf called out to me.

“Happy New Year, Sarge. Nice day, ain’t it?” I took that as my sign it was OK to go over to him. “Happy New Year to you, I’m glad to see you out again” I said. “Heard you haven’t been feeling good.”

He told me he was better now. The stents they’d put in his heart were good and the stroke “…ain’t gonna kill me if that dope never did.”

“I’m glad you got off that stuff, you were a hell raiser when you were on it. I see the change in you, you’re a better man. I see it. You’re an old man, but you’re better.”

He laughed and said “who the hell you callin’ an old man and you got wrinkles ’round your eyes?” Then he stopped smiling. “Tell me something, how come some of your people can’t see I ain’t that man anymore? I’m off that stuff and gave myself to the Lord. I’m clean, I’m out here and I’m making money, not taking it. You know it, they don’t.” I babbled something about everyone making up their own mind. He nodded and went on talking.

Hot O, The Sheep Dog’s beverage of choice

“My own people can’t see it either sometimes. People I ain’t seen in years come up in here and try to sell me shit, or want me to sell it to them. I run ’em off, Sarge. Some people only see who I was, not who I am. They ain’t never gonna see this man, not like you.”

We chatted a bit more about folks, the ones in his neighborhood and those in the past. “How long you been knowing me, Sarge?”

I mentioned the street he used to live on as a time reference, then said “your hair was black back then, and I still had all of mine”. He laughed and said “that was a long time ago. I’m retired from all that you and I was doing back then. Why ain’t you?” He smiled when I told him I’d be gone before the end of the year.

“God bless you, Sarge. You’re a good man. Go get you something to drink, I’m gonna sit here and pray for you to be safe right fuckin’ now, ’cause its important.

I said “Bless you, brother. Stay warm.” He nodded, bowed his head and put his palms together. People change. Wolves and Sheep Dogs do too.

When I walked back out with my hot chocolate, The Wolf was still praying.

People change.


23 Comments on “The Sheep Dog And The Wolf Chat Again”

  1. Laura says:

    I still remember the original dog/wolf post — it’s one of my favorites. It’s good to know he’s still hanging in there.

    What does the “O” stand for in “Hot O”?

  2. Wendy says:

    Good. Very, very good.

  3. lbwoodgate says:

    I REALLY enjoyed this one.

  4. Oma, seriously you are making me all weepy this morning. Damn you. And thank you.

  5. planetross says:

    I remember the original blog post too! Thanks for the update.

  6. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    Fantastic. This ought to be required reading. Ha ha. People can make a series of bad decisions, but still be led to eventually make the right ones. Kudos to your giving the benefit of the doubt! In theory it’s easy, but it really isn’t. Didn’t you feel a weight lift once you realized you weren’t judging any more? Glad this wolf can enjoy life & have a solid grip on who he was & who he is.

    • omawarisan says:

      I can’t begin to tell you what a bad operator the Wolf was. It is nice to see that people can change. I was realy wary of him when he popped back up again. It does restore some faith in human nature because this guy was pure evil.

  7. Debbie says:

    It’s good hearing “the rest of the story.” Too often, we don’t get a chance to run into folks who’ve changed, so we keep seeing them in our minds as they once were. How lucky you both are to get past the past and move into the future!

    • omawarisan says:

      I am terrible with names, pretty good with faces. I knew exactly who he was when I saw him and thought “crap, not him.” This is a different version of him. Phew.

  8. This didn’t show up in my reader until now (late Wednesday evening). I’ll say a prayer for the best for you both. . . and as I remember saying in response to the first post. . . a prayer of thanks on behalf of the sheep. Thank you.

  9. We Found Him Captain! says:

    Time has a way of exacting a toll. The wolf will always be a wolf, but this one knows his limitations. Remember to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. I recall this great story and enjoyed the follow up. You are good at what you do. Keep up the good work…… your shoes are going to be hard to fill.

  10. Z.N. Singer says:

    I too still treasure the original wolf post, and have enjoyed both further additions we’ve had since.

  11. I hate the phrase “Leopards can’t/don’t change their spots” because it limits us to being the judge. Humans have a great capacity for all things bad but an even greater capacity to change. It is what separates us from rest of natures living, breathing brethren.
    Great post and yes please be safe. Also I that old post and stopped by to revisit : was well worth the trip. Peace Oma.

  12. […] Newer readers – this is one you might need some context on. You can get that context here…and here. […]

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