My brother died in December 2019. In January 2020, the word “coronavirus” popped up in the news. The world faced a severe health crisis. In March, my husband and I started working from home with no return-to-work date in sight. It was clear that 2020 would be a year like no other, and not in a good way. We needed a smile.
Enter Smiley Syrus.
The previous fall, we had seen her walking the roadside, dirty and scrawny. She appeared to be mostly Redbone. It was apparent that she had mothered a litter of pups at some point, but no little ones ever accompanied her. If we approached the dog, she tilted her head and smiled, her lip curling up in a way Elvis could appreciate. It seemed her way of ingratiating herself to strangers, as if a toothy grin might keep her from being mistreated.
By winter, she lost the lean, hungry look. She was pregnant.
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