(c) 2005
It's interesting how we can learn things from animals.

For several years I had seen the old dog hobbling down the street. He always seemed to hang his head near the ground. Not as if he were smelling anything. It was more like he didn't want to make eye contact with anyone or anything.

Whenever his path might take him near people or other dogs, he would cross over to the other side of the street long before he might be noticed. His raggy coat and limp made him appear to be quite old. Because of the way the limp made him walk, I started to call him Hobbs.

I had asked around to see if anyone knew who owned him, but no one knew. There were rumors that he had once been championship material. Even some rumors that he had sired some actual AKC champs. Of course one of the qualities a dog needs to make it as a champion is an air of confidence, and Hobbs certainly lacked that. Or so I thought.

One day a few of the neighborhood young studs were running around the street bullying the other dogs. Just as they had cornered a young mother dog and her pups, Hobbs came limping down the street, head low as usual.