Had someone very close to me lose his treasured pet this week. A mixed breed Catahoula Hound along with a little Pit Bull and several other varieties thrown in for added character and charm. He was a “Ranch walk up” some 14 years ago as a young pup full of innocence and affection and he was looking for a home. While his pedigree was a bit questionable, his heart was pure. His name was Petey! As Petey and his new “man friend” began their life together, it was a trail filled with countless adventures, travels and unexpected happiness as they added a spouse, first home, relocation and children to their relationship. All were big events for both Petey and his Master, and their love for one another only deepened as the years sped by. At the end, their partnership was one that had spanned more than a third of the young man’s life.
It was one of the reasons saying “so long” was hard—really hard! There is a book, it’s one of my favorites, and it’s called Going Home by Jon Katz. It was gifted to me when I experienced a similar loss a couple of years ago. In fact, I have shared it with several of you. It’s one of those special books that can make you laugh, nod with experienced agreement and yes, it will also make you cry. Most of all though it helps you to heal. I will be sending it along to this young man— One particular chapter, “The Perfect Day,” really captured my heart. It was a story of another young fellow coping with the terminal illness and imminent loss of his dog. The owner decided to set aside one of their last days just to do what his pal enjoyed. It began with fried hamburgers, a morning of “toss and retrieve” with his favorite toy, a long walk on their “special trail” and even a backyard nap together in the afternoon shade. Their special day ended with grilled steaks! Though his friend died the following week, that day, that “perfect day” will last forever—for both. Kinda got me thinking—Maybe, just maybe we should work harder ourselves at making time for those “perfect days” in our own lives. Not just with our pets, but with one another as the good friends we are. How easy it is to decline invites for outings, lunches or just plain old time together with routine excuses of “too busy” or “not enough time.” Maybe we just need to say yes!
Or better yet, perhaps we should be the ones reaching out! What can we do to create that “special day” for those who are so important to us? Something to consider along life’s trail.
More wit and wisdom from your friends at the “Old Bar R.” Happy trails Petey,
Till we meet again—