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5. WHEN WE GOT RAIN
Now I will tell you when we got Rain. On the Friday before Thanksgiving last year I was waiting for my father to come home from The Luck of the Irish. I knew he was at there because it was 7:49 p.m., which meant that the J & R Garage had been closed for two hours and 49 minutes. I was studying my list of homonyms when I heard a car pull into our driveway. I decided that it was my father's car. Next I heard a door slam. Than I heard another door slam and I decided that my father had brought Sam Diamond home with him. Sam Diamond is a man who drinks at The Luck of the Irish with my father and sometimes comes here to sleep on our living room couch.
My father appeared in the porch window. "Rose, for lord's sake, get up off your butt and come help me," he yelled. I didn't want to help my father with Sam Diamond. But when I opened the front door and looked out through the screen at the rainy night I saw that my father was standing on the porch holding a thick rope in his left hand and that at the other end of the rope was a dog. The rope was tied around the dog's neck. The dog was very wet. Her fur was mostly yellow. Seven of her toes were white and her right ear had brown speckles on it.
"Where did you find a dog?" I asked my father.
"Behind The Luck of the Irish. Could t¡you bring a towel out here so I can dry her off?"
I brought a green towel to the porch and watched through the screen door while my father wiped the dog's feet and back. "She's for you," he said to me. "You can keep her." "She isn't wearing a collar," I replied. "That's why she's yours. She's a stray." "But shouldn't we look for her owners?" I asked. "They might want her back." "If they didn't care enough to get her a collar, then they don't deserve her," said my father. "Besides, how would we find her owners? She doesn't have a collar so she doesn't have any tags."
"Is she a gift?" I wanted to know. "What?" said my father. He stopped wiping the dog for a moment. "Yes, she's a gift, Rose. She's my gift to you."
My father had not given me many gifts. The dog stood patiently while my father wiped her fur. She lifted the front feet one at a time when he held out the towel. Then she gazed at me and lifted her eyebrows up and down. She panted, and when she panted she stretched her lips wide so that she looked like she was smiling.
"All right," my father said to the dog. "You're dry enough to go inside." He held the door open and the dog walked into the living room and she leaned against my legs. I stared down at her. She stared up at me.
"You can pet her," said my father. "That's what normal people do with dogs." So I petted her and she closed her eyes and pressed in closer.
"What are you going to name her?" asked my father. "I will name her Rain," I replied. "You found her in the rain, and rain has two homonyms - reign and rein - so it's a special word."
"That's great, Rose. And what about "thank you"?" "Thank you."
That night Rain slept in bed with me. She has slept with me every night since then.
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