It’s been a sad week with my parents’ sweet dog, Scout passing away. These animals we take into our homes and love just like a family member are with us for such a short time, and then the grief with their passing is so heavy, you wonder why you would open yourself up to that kind of pain.
And then you’re reminded why. Penny has been with us for less than a year, yet she’s already become the boys’ little caretaker. Last night a loud and windy thunderstorm rolled through right after bedtime. Penny didn’t snuggle up with me in her usual spot. Instead she went over to Alex’s room and laid down at his feet, vigilantly standing guard as if to make sure that the thunder didn’t affect him.
Tonight Alex woke up shortly after going to sleep. He was only half-awake and crying about something itching. I couldn’t calm him down or figure out what he wanted. Penny got up from her comfy spot, came over, and sat by me, looking at me with a concerned expression as if to say, “Well, aren’t you going to do something about this?”
She wouldn’t leave until he settled down. I’ve cried on her shoulder a couple of times since we’ve had her, and I know the kids have too. She kisses your tears away and stays by your side until she knows you’re all right. Or until someone offers her a piece of cheese. Cheese always takes precedence over everything else, but I can’t fault her for that.
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011