My daughter chose him. Of all the puppies at the shelter, he seemed the sweetest and kindest — big floppy ears, gangly legs, and big paws, covered in beautiful brindle fur. His shelter name was Garth, perhaps because he’d come from the South and someone who worked at the Humane Society was a country-music lover. He was a stray by the side of the road, picked up and put in the pipeline that takes dogs from areas that don’t have shelters to states where rescue dogs are in demand.
She named him Scout.
He was an exceptionally even-tempered little hound, and only ruined two pieces of furniture when he teethed. One of them was the sofa, and this gave my wife an excuse to get that new piece she’d been eyeing. The other was a sofa in the gazebo, where he would gnaw on the wood between springing up to chase rabbits. I worked at home a lot; he sat on the steps or the sofa or his bed, as if waiting for me to pick up the shootin’ iron and head into the woods to ping away at squirrels.