Once he barked, but pain and fear made him a coward and now the dog only whimpered. One day the chain was off his collar and he wandered away.
When he was brought to the shelter, he was malnourished, his pads torn from walking the rocky hills. He had no tags and no one came to claim him. He took to the female staffers, especially Lisa who named him Courage, because he reminded her of the cartoon dog. After several weeks, Lisa adopted him and brought Courage to his new home.
He was afraid of thunder, lightening, the vacuum, the doorbell, but he was most afraid of David, Lisa’s husband. He slunk away when David raised his hand to pet him, cowered if David elevated his voice.
Courage sat next to Lisa, his head on her lap, tolerating David on her other side as long as he stayed in his own space. Then one day, months after Courage found a home with Lisa, he put his head on her lap like normal. She absent-mindedly stroked him and he nuzzled in closer until his body was on Lisa and his head was on David’s lap. His eyes were raised to David who gently stroked his head. Courage sighed.