Friday, March 10, 2017

A Two Dog Story

This afternoon, I spent some time on the beach. The place was largely deserted except for maybe a dozen college kids about fifty yards up the beach. Although it was clear and warm, it was also very windy and the wind swept down the beach from where the kids were, amplifying their voices. I heard a couple of loud female squeals(am I allowed to say this?),  and the word Wiggles. I glanced up the beach to see what was going on and saw an older woman with a little dog on a leash. The two of them had drawn a crowd. After a while they went on their way, headed towards me. When they got close, "Wiggles" made a beeline for me...

This is truly a horrible picture, since Miss Wiggles was far more adorable than this photograph. She was stunning, with one blue eye and one brown one and couldn't get enough of me. Her owner, a woman in her mid 60's told me that Wiggles can always tell when she meets a dog lover. She told me she didn't even have to ask me if I had a dog, because Wiggles doesn't care for people who don't have dogs! Without prompting, she told me the story. Her husband of 40 years had recently passed away unexpectedly. She was beside herself with grief. A friend suggested that she get a dog. Wiggles was a rescue, two days away from being put down. She's had her for nearly a year now and can't imagine what she would have done had they not found each other. As I watched the two of them disappear into the distance, they stopped at every child, every adult who wanted to meet her, and nearly everyone did. I thought to myself...who rescued whom?

Then, I found this on the internet...

Meet Air Force Sergeant Kyle Smith and his dog Bodza. They served four tours of duty together until 2014 when Bodza retired from the military to become Kyle's real life dog. Recently, Bodza, a German Shepherd, had been diagnosed with a degenerative disorder from which there would be no recovery. It was then that Kyle had to make the toughest decision of his life. When he had Bodza put down, he was sure to find an American flag to properly honor this noble animal. It is difficult to look at this picture without feeling the full measure of sorrow and grief, of how very difficult it must have been to say goodbye to such a friend, loyal and true.

The next time Lucy wakes us up in the middle of the night shaking on the bed because, I don't know, because a leaf fell from a tree too loudly, I'll remember Wiggles and Bodza...and squeeze her back extra tight.