On Monday after the funeral, Steve and his parents and I went to his mom's family cemetery in the middle of nowhere to pick out a plot for Grandma Sara. Several of Grandma Sara's siblings, her parents, and various ancestors are buried there. She will be cremated, so there was no rush -- the burial of her ashes will happen at a later date.
We pulled up to the cemetery, which was surrounded by farmland, woods, and a boarded-up church. I mention its relative isolation to explain our surprise when, as soon as we opened our car doors, a tiny black and white puppy was immediately underfoot. He seemed very happy to see us, greeting us like we were his long-lost family. I picked him up and he urgently licked my face and hands, shaking a little but seeming mostly happy. His fur was fairly clean, but his little ribs were definitely sticking out. In his excitement, he peed a little bit on my shirt, and the color was very dark, almost green. This puppy hadn't had anything to drink in quite some time. I put him down, and he began following us.
We walked around the cemetery looking for a good spot for Grandma Sara. The little puppy wouldn't let us out of his sight, and we kept looking around to figure out where he'd come from. We started to wonder if he'd been abandoned by the roadside. Steve's mom picked him up and asked him if he wanted to come to Mississippi. At first, she didn't seem serious, but I put on the full-court press. "We can't leave him here by himself. There are no houses anywhere around -- he's all alone. We have to at least bring him to the pound. He's so cute he'll get adopted right away. But he seems like such a sweet doggie..."
Finally, we found the perfect location for Grandma Sara's final resting place. As we stood admiring it, Steve's mom began debating bringing the little dog home with her. I said maybe her mom wanted her to have the puppy. Suddenly, the little guy trotted purposefully toward the gravestone of Grandma Sara's father. He hopped up on the ledge of the stone, sat down, and stared at us.
The decision was made.