My husband wanted a “soda for the roada” before we made the trek from Las Vegas back to Bakersfield. While he went to get his Coke, I waited in the car.  But when the little yipping dog hopped from the van next to us, I got out to chat with the family.

“That’s a might fierce protector you’ve got there,” I said.

“He thinks so” replied the lady as she stepped out of the vehicle and handed the leash off to her daughter with instructions to “take him over there for a walk.”  She told me she was on a break from her job as an elementary school teacher.

“What grade?”


“Oh, my youngest son is a sixth-grade teacher.”

“Really?  Where?”

“Discovery Elementary in Bakersfield.”

“I teach in Bakersfield too; Panama Buena Vista district.”

In the middle of the desert, at the far end of a parking lot, paths intersected and connected over a little lion of a dog.