D Is For Dog
In pondering what to do for my “D” post many ideas came to mind. Disney was an obvious choice for anyone who knows me but I decided that too obvious. I also considered Democracy, Daydreams and a myriad of other topics.
But for various reasons I settled on dog.
Although I do not currently have a dog in my life (I prefer that term to “own a dog”) there have been canine companions over the years and even today thinking of them brings a smile to my face.
My first was a German Shepard/Doberman mix that my dad brought home when I was about 8 yrs old.
I remember coming home from Little League practice (yes even someone as athletically deficient as I played) and seeing the family with the puppy. I dropped everything and ran over to meet our new friend.
For more than a decade she was part of our family, every day we knew when Dad was coming home because our living alarm would alert us well ahead of time. She had the bark of a lion, fiercely defending against any threat but the heart of a lamb (if the crook said boo she’d probably run and hide).
As time went on she aged and eventually came the day that she left us. Even in death she was good to us, we were facing the possibility of having to put her down but she saved us that pain by going quietly one Saturday morning, peaceful to the end.
We buried her in the backyard (pretty sure the statute of limitations is over on that) and for some time when one of us felt a little down we would go out to “visit”.
After a time she was (as you might have guessed from my picture) replaced by a beautiful Golden Retriever puppy.
She had the smile and the love that all goldens seem to possess and she seemed to make our lives just as happy as her predecessor had, if in a different way.
But then it seemed proper for it to be different because we were different. My sister and I were grownups and began to move out on our own. I think in many ways this friend served to help our parents with the transition by filling a bit of the gap. We joke about dogs being our kids but they do serve that role.
This became particularly important when my dad developed some chronic illnesses and she remained his loyal companion, keeping him company on those long days he just couldn’t get out of bed. She also, I think, helped provide my mother with some comfort during a tough time.
And of course every time my sister or I visited (daily or weekly) she was thrilled to see us back from our years long trek (or so her greeting implied).
Sadly she also eventually left us, and once again seemed to time things in a way to help us. We knew she would have to be put down and we knew this would be hard on all of us, especially Dad. But she held on until we were preoccupied by a family event out of town.
This allowed us to drop her at the vet “for a visit while we were gone”. As much as it hurt to not be with her at the end this made things easier on Dad.
I still find myself wanting a dog, though my house lacks a yard so that isn’t in the cards. But every time I see a dog being walked I get a special smile on my face.
So what about you dear readers…. do you have special memories of childhood pets ?
Or do you have one today that makes life special for you ?
And of course I have to finish with a few images of our furry friends…