Sunday, March 3, 2019

...To A Dear Friend

It's been a month since your journey ended, and still we mourn.

We rescued you from a puppy mill tucked away along a wooded and blossoming hillside in North Carolina.  You were the strongest young stud in the litter.  Boasting a broad chest and knobby knees shaped like small fists, your future appeared bright. During your first visit to the local vet however, we were offered a laundry list of future issues.

"Care for him.  Love him.  Hold him close and you'll get eight years...ten if you're lucky."

We loved you.  We watched you grow.  We cared for your ills.  

And you gave us fifteen years.

We were a young family back then.  There were grade school holiday concerts, baseballs launched from tees, trick or treating in small towns littered with billowing leaves turned a million different shades of autumn.  

Baseballs matured to football helmets, voices deepened, there were first jobs at the local grocery store, teenagers with faces buried in cell phones. 

And through it all, you were there, at our side, adapting to whatever obstacle we took on without complaint.

Your trust in us never wavered.  We made mistakes along the way, choices made that we'll always regret.  Yet you forgave us every time.  You never held a grudge.  You were always there.  Always.   

Fifteen years.  

You helped raise our children.  Every morning you followed me to the door as I grabbed my things and left for the day.  You'd stand in the doorway, watch me leave, and I'd always turn and give you a nod.     

Fifteen years.  

On your last day we all returned to say our good-byes.  A four hour drive from college, a sick day called in to the office, a couple of missed morning classes at high school.  But that was okay.  

On this day everyone put their cell phones away.  We held you, we loved you, we thanked you...

One month later, when I leave for the office in the early morning hours, I still turn around, hoping to see you one last time.

Thank you for being my friend, Dear Prince.


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