"Do you have her?" Jackie would ask me anxiously. She always made a wide circle when she passed Maddie and kept her eyes on my hand on the leash. But Jackie also watched Maddie with interest from a distance when she was reading with the other dogs. Maddie licked the faces of the other children, rolled over on her back to be rubbed, lay her head in the their laps,and never stopped wagging her tail. Jackie's face told me that she longed to be part of that, part of the joy that Maddie had to give.
"Yes," I told her. Jackie reached over and patted Maddie on the head. We all broke into applause-- teacher and volunteers alike. It was a great day, a great milestone, and a great moment not only for Jackie, but for black dogs everywhere. It is well-known that "black dog syndrome"exists, where some people tend to fear black dogs for no reason and that black dogs are passed over in the shelter over other colors, again for no good reason.