Dondi got a puppy. This was the deal: Walt has a buddy on the job whose Boxer had an unexpected litter, so one day Walt follows the guy home and picks out this little fella, who Walt and Dondi name Pug. Pug the Boxer.
Dondi is dog crazy, but she hasn’t had a pet of any kind since the day they stacked their New Jersey belongings on the roof of their old Packard and hit the road for destinations west.
Dondi loves Pug with her whole soul, and as he grows into his first year, Pug quickly becomes her best friend — which is lucky because he’s also her only friend. Dondi likes to whisper all of her secrets into the smooth fur of Pug’s side, as he stretches out on the rag rug by the front door.
Pug is a lifeline that provides the certainty missing from the previous handful of nomadic years, but it doesn’t last.
One day Dondi comes home from school and there’s no Pug. The night before, Walt was playing with Pug when Pug snapped and bit Walt, and that was that — Walt packed Pug up and shipped him back to the buddy at work.
Dondi is devastated and blames Walt’s frenetic wrestling and not her dear dog. Dondi cries buckets for days and days, but Walt doesn’t skip a beat, because Walt never skips a beat.