I lost my best friend a few years ago. Her name was Magic and she listened to all my troubles and often even offered advice. She was a beautiful English Shepherd and I loved her with all my heart.
She had a puppy I kept named Blackie. When Magic left us – she passed away from congestive heart failure – Blackie and I both grieved. Blackie refused to eat and laid in the recliner that Magic considered her chair. I knew how lonely I was; I could only imagine the depths of Blackie’s lonliness.
Finally I began to ask around for a puppy that I could get to keep Blackie company. I didn’t know if it would work or not, but I knew being alone was not working for Blackie. A friend at work had some puppies and I got one of those. She had already been named Joy, but I found nothing joyful in her.
My middle son, Conrad, was living with me at the time and he took over the care of Joy. The first day we brought her in the house, Blackie took one look and jumped out of the blue recliner and left the room. Well, that was progress, I thought. She moved.
I was prepared for the changes in Blackie, but not for the changes in me. Once more I’d hear two dogs headed in my direction. When I turned, expecting to see Magic and Blackie, I instead saw Blackie and Joy. I was always disappointed.
I’m embarrassed to say that this went on for quite some while. As I realized I wasn’t ready for Joy, or any other dog, besides Blackie, I also realized that Blackie had bonded with Joy. Once again Blackie had someone to go outside with, someone to eat with, someone to lie around and exchange thoughts with. I still had Blackie and my grief over losing Magic.
The other day it happened. My youngest son, who came home in February, moved out. Joy had latched onto him as someone who would love and care for her because my middle son had moved out earlier. Joy followed his steps and spent so much time in his room that I bought her a dog bed to go in there. She was still not allowed in my room and I didn’t spend much time with her.
That was until Anthony moved out. The next morning Joy was wandering past Anthony’s room. I saw her in the hall. As she passed my door, my heart felt a tug I’d never felt for her before. She stopped and gazed mournfully into my bedroom. “Well, what are you waiting for?” I asked her. “Come on in.” She came to the doorway and stopped. “Come on. Be a good girl!” That’s all the encouragement she needed. She bounded into the room and ran straight to me.