An ancient gopher tortoise was Billy dog's best friend. Old Grumpus had a burrow in a vacant lot and our daily walk always included a house call in which Billy would sniff the entrance and a tortoise head would emerge briefly in acknowledgement. Satisfied, Billy would continue his business walk.
When Grumpus visited our house he would appear through the shrubbery and as slow as only a tortoise could be he would make his way across the lawn. Billy would wait in the corner of the lanai watching his poky pal stump through the grass.
Through the screen wire, dog and tortoise nudged noses in greeting. Shoulder to shoulder they would walk to the far end of the lanai where the night blooming jasmine bush would block their progress. Billy would turn, sit and wait for Grumpus to make his much slower turn, then side by side at a tortoise' pace they would return to the meeting corner.
Swinging his reptillian head, Grumpus would continue around the side yard, Billy watching until he was out of sight.