The widower and I had to introduce our furry children.
On our second date, we went for a compatibility walk. The winter sun was setting as Steve, the widower, and I, the widow, introduced our furry children — his big old black dog and my small young white dog. We walked in parallel on opposite sides of a local wooded path testing to see if each (human and dog) was to be best buddies with the other.
Two years later, Steve and I married. Brooks and Scheffie, by now dog-friends, became dog-brothers. Love grew comically as our furry children learned to share the best spot at my feet as I cooked, and the coziest snuggle locations on the couch during TV time.
Four years later, Brooks died. Scheffie searched for him, and moved his toys from bedroom to kitchen and back again. After a few days, Scheffie seemed to know that Brooks was not coming back. And so, he spent his nights in Brooks’ empty bed. He snuggled into the blanket-covered cushion and mourned in the only way he could be comforted. Scheffie enjoyed eight more years of home cooked meals, road trips, and lap time from family and dog-loving-friends.
Two months after Scheffie’s death, we welcomed 14 week old puppy, Leyli-Bops, into our home. She is now two years old, taking up the affection-mantle with pride and humor. She claims all socks and gloves as her own, collecting them with glee and wagging tail as she devises clever and new ways to appropriate them from pockets or unguarded clean laundry piles. We still call her “puppy” even though we know she is actually in her dog “teen” years.
Dogs are young way too briefly, old way too soon, and gone way before we’re ready to say good bye. The saying is, dogs have short lives because they are born knowing how to love, humans need more time on earth to learn. Steve and I, now married for 13 years, love our family in all its iterations and love loving our love-experts.
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