Today I drove over four hours round trip to visit a rescued German Shepherd named King who was surrendered to a no-kill shelter. I just had to meet him face to nose. Maybe he would be the one? My next best buddy. King has a jet black coat and large playful paws and tall ears and brown eager eyes. But he is young. And I tried to walk him on a leash around the property, escorted by a lovely young volunteer named, Andy. But my heart sank. I knew King was not the one for me. I pet his soft fur and coo’d in his ear while he buried his muzzled nose in the snow.
“You are a beautiful boy,” I said. “You will find a beautiful home.”
And then I thanked Andy for taking the time to let me meet King. But it was all too soon. King is not my beloved O. And O is gone. And I realized in trying to bond with this young beautiful pup at the shelter, I was hoping to find O again, and that’s simply not possible.
O is gone.
O is gone.
There’s something distinguished about an older dog. I forgot what it’s like to be around a young dog full of energy. Sometimes when you rescue a dog, it can take up to a year to bond, especially for the dog to feel safe and settle down, to know he is home. A year. That’s how long it took for O and me. It took a lifetime really of he and I getting to know one another, to trust one another, to be comrades. And in our final days together, O sat by my side and napped and stretched and offered his ears for a scratch while I worked and I can ask for no greater gift but the warmth of his quiet gentle love. He gave me everything.
I’m tired tonight. Good night world.