Black Dog



FORT DAVIS — A black female dog stood on the patio in front of Stone Village Market. As I approached she turned and looked at me with dark amber eyes. My greeting, “Hello darlin,” made her tail sway back and forth. And she smiled. 

“Are you waiting for your person?” It was one of those times when I wished dogs could talk. She had no collar, no identification. As it turned out, she had no person.

Stone Village serves lunch, so there are tables and chairs on the patio. There is shade, and there is always a bowl of water set out for dogs. Many times, there is a pup on the patio. But the pup belongs to someone. It has identification and a leash that connects it to a human. 

This was not the case with black dog. She was standing there when I came out with my groceries. A wag of her tail, a smile on her face. I could no longer ignore the obvious. “Where are you puppies, sweetheart? Where are you keeping them?” 

She followed me to my car. I talked as we walked along. I apologized and admitted I did not know what to do. When last seen, she was heading south.

Grand Companions Humane Society, located in Fort Davis, provides sheltering and adoption services throughout Far West Texas. When I visit, I spend anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes socializing with animals, helping them adapt to humans and our strange ways. These visits are not altruistic. I selfishly need “dog time.”

Told there was a litter of eight puppies, I headed to the shaded patio where they were spending part of the afternoon. And there, in their midst, was the black dog. She approached, tail moving from side to side. With great relief I said, “Darlin, look at you and your babies in a safe place.” 

I learned that more than one person had called to report a stray dog that had puppies stashed under a trailer. As luck would have it, the canine family found sanctuary at Grand Companions. Temporary names were assigned. Black dog became Pancha. Seven of the pups were named after Disney’s Seven Dwarfs. Pup number 8 was named Klutzy.

That day, Pancha and I had a good visit. We took a little walk outside, then sat together indoors. She was calm and liked to be petted. Sometimes she’d stand on her hind legs, front paws in my lap, no need for words. Her dark amber eyes said everything that needed to be said. 

I won’t even mention how cute the puppies were. Two were brown and white. The rest were black and white. If Pancha and her family were the only animals in need it would be a wonderful world. But we know that is not the case. These nine dogs are just a small indication of a much larger problem. And we know the problem is not confined to Far West Texas.

At press time, only Klutzy has been adopted. Pancha has been spayed. She has been given all of her vaccinations and has been microchipped. She is a young dog. It is believed this was her first litter. Here’s hoping she finds a forever home. 

Until then, as time allows, I’ll be stopping by to visit her and her kind. To quote Andy Rooney, “The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.”

For information about Grand Companions, visit Or visit them on Facebook, where there are photos of Pancha and her pups. A donation can be made at either site.

Published: The Daily Sentinel (Nacogdoches, Texas)

Photo: Courtesy of Grand Companions Humane Society

© Judy Morgan 2022 —