“Have you seen this dog before?”
Harry Truman followed Dale Cooper’s pointing finger. The two men had just left the Double R Diner after eating lunch and were getting into Harry’s car to return to the sheriff’s station. Harry spotted the dog Cooper was pointing out. A medium sized brown dog was lying in front of a car parked in front of the diner.
“Don’t believe I have.”
“Harry, for the last four days I’ve seen that same dog each time we have eaten here at the diner.”
A concerned look crossed Harry’s face. “Coop, you’re not saying that dog-?”
Cooper shot Harry a puzzled look before bursting into laughter. “No, Harry, it’s just a dog. I am simply concerned that I have seen it multiple times but never with an individual I would presume to be its owner.”
Harry sighed in relief as he shut his door. “Oh, well, it could be a stray dumped by someone. People often dump their dogs in the country. Guess they imagine somehow they’ll teach themselves how to hunt or something.”
Cooper frowned. “Harry, I will never understand how people can be so callous and cruel toward innocent creatures.” He looked at the dog once more before closing his door and buckling himself in.
Harry reached over to squeeze his knee. “That’s because you’re a good man, Coop.”
Cooper blushed at his lover’s words. “So are you, Harry.”
“Did you ever own a dog?”
Harry blinked at the non sequitur. They were lying in bed together after a bout of lovemaking and about to go to sleep. “Uh, yeah. Growing up we always had a dog or two, mostly hunting dogs. I haven’t had a dog since my lab Marty passed a few years ago. Why?”
Cooper sighed and rested his head against Harry’s shoulder. “I was just pondering the dog from the diner.”
Harry smiled and stroked his fingers through his lover’s hair. “I see. You have a dog growing up?”
“No. My mother was allergic. When I was on my own my job as a special agent didn’t leave me enough free time to properly care for a pet.”
“Did you want a dog? Or any pet as a kid?” Harry massaged Cooper’s scalp with his fingers.
Cooper hummed in pleasure at the massage. “Oh yes. I always wanted a dog as a boy. It never happened with my mother’s allergies, of course.”
Harry hmmed. “Does that have anything to do with your interest in this stray?”
Cooper shrugged. “Perhaps.”
Harry chuckled. “Well, Coop, if no owner shows up it will need a home somewhere. It’s not been the same here without a dog all these years.”
Cooper grinned. “You mean it, Harry?”
Harry laughed and ruffled Cooper’s hair. “Sure, Coop.”
Several days later Cooper found himself at the Double R Diner without Harry’s company. Harry was too busy with paperwork to take a long lunch break so Cooper went by himself. Stepping outside he paused to take a deep breath of the fresh cool air. In the corner of his eye something moved. Turning his head he spotted the same brown dog he’d seen the last few days.
The dog was sniffing around the newspaper dispensers. It looked thin and its fur was a bit scruffy but it didn’t look ill or injured. Cooper didn’t know a lot about dogs but it looked like pictures he’d seen of Labrador retrievers. He thought its color was what the experts referred to as chocolate.
Cooper had little experience with dogs but instinct told him a direct approach would scare the stray off. Feeling slightly foolish he whistled as he casually made his way closer to the dog. He got maybe a few feet away when the dog became alerted to his approach. It lifted its head and stared at him, ears back and tail lowered between its legs. Cooper stopped and tried to look harmless.
The dog slowly backed away, keeping a wary eye on Cooper. When Cooper shifted his feet the dog turned and ran around the corner of the diner. Sighing Cooper followed. When he came around the corner he saw the dog halfway down the side of the diner, where the dumpster was. It was looking behind it and when it spotted Cooper again it took off running.
“This is going to be more difficult than I envisioned,” Cooper mused aloud.
“How do you get a dog to not be afraid of you?”
Harry looked at his lover. The two men were sitting on the couch. Harry had been reading a book while Cooper sat pondering whatever it was he pondered when he silently stared off into space. “This about the dog from the diner?”
Cooper sighed. “Yes, Harry. I went to the diner for lunch and it was there. I attempted to approach the dog but it ran away.”
Harry nodded. He placed a bookmark in his book. “Not surprising. Stray dogs can be skittish. They feel threatened by people approaching them.”
“I thought as much myself. I tried to be as nonthreatening as possible but it was completely frightened of me.”
Harry smiled. “Come here,” he said and positioned Cooper so he was lying on the couch with his head in Harry’s lap. “The best way to get a dog to be comfortable around you is to just let it get used to your presence. Show it you mean no harm.”
Cooper sighed happily as strong fingers combed through his hair. “That makes a lot of sense, Harry.”
“Oh, I mentioned the dog to Hawk. He wanted me to tell you ‘He that can have patience can have what he will’.”
Cooper grinned. “Hawk is a font of wisdom.”
Harry chuckled. “Yeah. He also said that food works.”
Cooper waited a few days before trying to get close to the dog again. He had a cup of coffee and a slice of pie at the Double R Diner before ordering a turkey club sandwich to go. He exited the diner and carefully looked around. Not spotting the dog out front he decided to check around to the side. Sure enough he saw the familiar brown dog nosing around the dumpster.
Slowly Cooper made his way toward the dog. He had closed only a short part of the distance between them when the dog became alerted to his presence. It looked suspiciously at Cooper and took a few steps back. When Cooper stopped and leaned against the side of the diner, showing no inclination to come closer, the dog relaxed slightly and went back to sniffing around the dumpster.
Cooper waited a few seconds before edging his way closer. Again he didn’t get far before the dog sensed his approach. This time it growled softly before slinking away a few feet. Sighing Cooper turned to place his back against the diner’s wall and carefully sat down. He purposely ignored the dog and noisily took the turkey club out of its takeaway box. He risked a quick glance at the dog and was pleased to see it had noticed the sandwich. Although he wasn’t hungry he took a bite out of the sandwich and, despite feeling foolish doing so, made a big deal out of enjoying it.
For the next several minutes he did his best to entice the dog to come closer. After a bit it started to work. From the corner of his eye Cooper watched the dog slowly making its way toward him. It would take a few steps and then stop, sniffing the air. Hoping to spur it on, he ripped some of the turkey from the sandwich and casually tossed it toward the dog. He smiled when it sniffed the meat then gobbled it up.
Eventually the dog had closed most of the distance between them. Its gaze stayed locked on the sandwich in Cooper’s hands while its tail wagged slowly from between its legs. Cooper ripped some more turkey from the sandwich but this time he held it out to the dog on the palm of his hand. The dog’s first reaction was to jump back in a cringing fashion. It retreated a few steps and sat. It stared intently at the food but kept shooting Cooper anxious glances.
Cooper forced himself to hold still. The dog was skittish and any move on his part would send it running. He took a bite of sandwich and chewed not daring to even glance at the dog. Finally, he felt something cold on his palm and heard the snapping of teeth. Smiling he ripped another chunk of turkey free and held it out. This time he watched out of the corner of his eye as the dog gingerly took the meat out of his palm and gulped it down.
Cooper fed the dog from his hand a couple more times. It had relaxed and most of its focus was on the turkey. Cooper turned his head to look it full on and the dog didn’t flinch. Its gaze was solely on what was left of the sandwich. Cooper smiled and offered his hand, this time with no food. Expecting more turkey, it sniffed Cooper’s palm and looked puzzled to find it empty.
“Friends?” Cooper spoke softly so as not to scare the dog.
Confused the dog took a step back. It looked at Cooper’s hand and cocked its head when turkey did not appear. It approached and sniffed again, its eyes shifting to glance at Cooper’s face. Having little experience with dogs, Cooper was unsure how to read the expression on the dog’s face. Perhaps dogs didn’t have facial expressions.
Suddenly there was a loud bang. The dog nearly jumped out of its skin before turning and fleeing at surprising speed. Cooper stood quickly and sighed as the dog ran out of sight. Looking toward the source of the sound he saw Norma Jennings standing by the dumpster with two large garbage bags in her hands.
“Mrs. Jennings? Need some help?” Cooper hurried over to assist.
Norma turned her head and smiled. “Thanks, Agent Cooper, I sure could.”
Cooper lifted the dumpster’s lid and held it open while Norma dumped the bags inside. “You’re welcome.”
“What are you doing out here?”
Cooper shrugged and smiled sheepishly. “I was trying to make friends with a dog.”
“The chocolate lab? She’s been hanging around here for the past week or so. I’ve tried to get close to her but she’s so skittish. I’ve been leaving a little food out for her, though.”
“It’s female? I’ve been trying to get her to trust me for the past week. Today I was finally successful in luring her close with a turkey sub. She was actually eating out of my hand before she was frightened off when you came out.” Cooper stared after where the dog had run off.
“Oh, I’m sorry Agent Cooper!”
Cooper smiled and patted her arm. “That’s quite all right, Mrs. Jennings. I’ll try another attempt later.”
“I almost did it, Harry!”
“Did what?” Harry looked up from reading on their bed, to see Coop standing at the foot of it. It was late in the evening, nearly time for bed.
“I almost made friends with Diana.” With a sigh Cooper started to undress.
“With who?” Harry frowned in confusion.
“Diana. That’s what I’ve named the dog. Norma mentioned it was a female.”
“Oh.” Harry watched his lover undress completely forgetting his book. “What happened?”
“I had her eating turkey from my hand when Norma frightened her off coming out to put trash in the dumpster. I was so close, Harry!” Sighing Cooper started putting on his pajamas.
“You’ll get there, “ Harry assured him.
“I sure hope so, Harry.” Cooper slipped under the covers. He slid over to curl up against Harry.
“You should do what you did to make me fall in love with you,” Harry said, putting an arm around Cooper.
“What’s that, Harry?”
“Just be yourself. You have a very comforting voice and manner when you want.” Harry gently kissed Cooper’s forehead then got ready for bed himself.
Cooper didn’t see the dog around the diner for several days. When he finally did he found it eating from a bowl near the dumpster. Obviously Norma had left some food out for it. Cooper carefully approached. When it noticed him it hunched over the bowl but surprisingly didn’t flee. Cooper came within a few feet of the dog before sitting on the ground.
“Hello, Diana,” he greeted the dog softly. The dog wagged its tail but otherwise did not react.
Deciding to take Harry’s advice Cooper did what he did best. He talked. He introduced himself like he would to a person and talked some about his background. The dog was focused mostly on eating but she did have an ear cocked in Cooper’s direction as he spoke. So Cooper went on to talk about his work for the FBI and his colleagues and friends. He went over a few of his most interesting cases before coming to the Laura Palmer case.
Cooper spent the next few minutes going over the case that had brought him to Twin Peaks. As he spoke about the events of the past several months he almost forgot he was talking to the dog. He didn’t notice when the dog licked the bowl clean. He was oblivious as the dog stared at him while he talked, her head cocked. He was too engrossed in reminiscing to notice the dog slowly approach and sniff him, tail wagging slowly. It was only when he felt the wet nose on his cheek that he suddenly realized the dog was standing right beside him.
“Hello there, Diana,” he spoke softly. He smiled when the dog wagged her tail. Carefully he lifted a hand to touch her chest. She flinched slightly but stayed in place. He gently rubbed her soft fur and grinned when her tail wagged faster.
“Are we friends, then?” He chuckled when she licked his hand. “Should I go on?”
So Cooper went on to discuss the events leading up to his entering the Black Lodge. Diana sat beside him as he rubbed her chest and talked. When he got to his experiences in the Lodge the dog seemed to sense his disquiet and licked his face. He went on to describe how Harry had helped him overcome his fear to save Annie and himself. Lastly he discussed Harry and their relationship.
“And so, here we are. You will like, Harry. He is a kind soul and likes dogs. Diana, I am truly blessed to have met him and have him in my life. I’m quite sure he’d say the same about me, though I can’t imagine why.”
Cooper slowly stood up. He was afraid Diana would flee but she stayed beside him showing no fear. He leaned down to stroke her and her tail wagged. “Shall we go home, then?”
“I’ve brought Diana home,” Cooper announced as he walked in the house.
Harry looked up from his newspaper. Sure enough there was the brown dog standing beside his lover. Close up he realized it was a skinny chocolate lab. Harry met Cooper’s gaze and smiled at him.
“Told you that you could do it.”
“You were right, Harry, as usual. Diana, I’d like you to meet Harry, my lover.”
Diana ignored Cooper and Harry as she sniffed around the place. She checked all over the room and investigated each and every nook and cranny. Finally she made her way over to where Harry was sitting. She sniffed his feet and then his pants all the while Harry sat silently watching her from the corner of his eye. Finally she looked up at his face, laid her chin on his knee and sighed contentedly.
“Good girl.” Harry smiled and ruffled her ears earning a thumping tail wag.
Cooper gaped. “How-?”
Harry shrugged with a smile as he stroked the dog sitting beside him.
A few days later Harry and Cooper were standing outside the Double R Diner after eating lunch. Diana sat in the car with the side door open, waiting to leave. Cooper looked off in the distance.
“Have you seen this cat before?”