David Sharpe finally hit bottom on the bedroom floor of his apartment in Yorktown, Va. That’s where he sat, legs folded, ready to finish the fight with the demons that had followed him back from the war zone: the sudden rages; the punched walls; the profanities tossed at anyone who tried to help.
There was little in the room but dirty Air Force uniforms, some empty Jägermeister bottles and a crushing despair. He took a deep breath. Shut his eyes. Closed his lips a little tighter around the cool steel.
And then something licked his ear. He looked around, and locked gazes with a pair of brown eyes.
Cheyenne cocked her head to one side.
“It was just one of those looks dogs give you,” Sharpe recalls. “It was like ‘What are you doing? Who’s going to take care of me? Who else is going to let me sleep in this bed?’ ”
For a long minute, Sharpe stared into the puzzled face of his 6-month-old pit bull. And then slowly, reluctantly, he backed the barrel of the .45 out of his mouth.
“There’s no doubt about it,” he says now. “I owe her my life.”