It’s still dark entering the Park, when I see an array of lights darting against the predawn sky. As I get closer, I see it’s a Pitbull with a collar made up of Christmas lights.
Ike is his name belonging to a Vietnam Vet, named Billy, who found him on the Lower East Side apparently in great need of care.
As Ike does relays back and forth, my smile gets bigger and bigger. He reminds me of being a kid going to my Auntie Ida’s house on Christmas Eve, passing all the homes with twinkle lights twined around their porches and windows.
It was my favorite part of the trip…greens and blues, reds and yellows lighting the way pretending from our ice blue Chevy Impala, to be Wendy in Peter Pan.
The dog, at his master’s gentle request, come’s over, panting, so we could be properly introduced.
Billy says, “Ike, what do we do when we meet a lady?”
As the light was just beginning to change, a runner or two in our midst, Ike politely sits down to give me his mighty paw.
“Such a grip,” I say to Billy, “and I don’t mind telling you, I’ve always been a sucker for a gentleman.”
When I then say, how noble it was that he rescued Ike, he says, “No, you got it backwards,” stroking Ike’s head tenderly…
“Ike here, he rescued me.”