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It was 1979 and I was driving in the mountains in my 1936 green school-bus. I had made it into a RV with wood floors and decorated it with Native American blankets. As I was going around a hairpin curve on an old mountain road I saw something that looked like road kill in the middle of the road. I stopped open the bus door, grabbed my gloves thinking I would have to pull the animal off to the side.

As soon as I got out to examine the "roadkill" that blackball of fur jumped up and ran past me into the bus. He went directly to the back (my bed) and laid down. I was kinda scared didn't know what to do so I went around to the back of the bus and opened the two back doors thinking he would jump out. He didn't. He just laid there. I took the end of a bow that was hanging on the wall and sort of poked him. He didn't move. I had some beef jerky I had made and tried to coax him out with it. He didn't move.

Finally I had enough I didn't think he was dangerous so I went over and picked him up and was going to remove him myself and he went limp . He was playing dead. I started laughing and that silly black dog licked me right in the mouth. I gave him the jerky and he gobbled it down. I knew at that moment I had a dog.

I found out later this was no ordinary dog. The Veterinarian said he was part feral and part coyote so he was what they called a coydog. All I know was he was the most intelligent being I have ever been around. He saved my life on two occasions. But he was my constant companion until the day he died. He really wasn't "my" dog he was my friend an equal. We ate, explored, and played together.

Hitchhiker was a truly noble being.

Mom & Hitchhiker in photo.

Gayle Pruitt
Dallas, TX

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