On the days that I'm running a bit late I'll inevitably get caught behind the parade of school buses going to HISD, which isn't a big deal. These days give me a moment to observe things I normally miss.
Things like dogs waiting patiently with their little friends for the school bus. There they will sit, looking longingly at the boy or girl who seems to oblivious to their four footed friend. The more puppyesque of the lot will scamper around; still waiting for the bus, nevertheless. Then, as soon as their buddy boards the bus they scurry back to the house.
On those days when I don't time my departure from work just right, I'll be behind the same parade of buses taking the kiddos home. I then get to see the same loyal friends come out and greet their buddies as they exit the bus. Every time I experience this, I'm reminded of my loyal buddy growing up.
Without fail Zorro would walk us the quarter mile, it seemed so much farther back when I was eight, to the bus stop. In the afternoon there he'd be waiting to escort us back home. The interesting thing of this is that we didn't train him to do this, he picked it up on his own. Initially he tried to get on the bus with us, he was just a pup. Somehow, though, he learned to wait until we got on the bus in the morning, go back home and do whatever it is dogs do when you're not around, then go back at just the right time to greet us in the afternoon. Unfortunately, there was one morning when he didn't make it back home.
There'd been some type of work going on farther up the road that involved big eighteen wheel trucks. I guess Zorro darted out after leaving us at the bus stop and the driver didn't see him. Somehow, someone knew that Zorro belonged to us and they call my dad. This was odd because we lived somewhat isolated on a strawberry ranch. Dad went and got our little buddy and buried him. It was odd to us that he wasn't there that afternoon to greet us, then very sad when we found out what had happened.
Needless to say, I'm very, very cautious driving down the highway when the children and their loyal buddies are waiting for the school bus.