Blacki, that is.
It was a warm spring afternoon when the four of us trekked to the animal shelter to check out a dog for Vonnie and Tom. A few pooches came outside to meet us but none made the cut. Well, not for Vonnie and Tom. I didn’t think they were right, especially Tom, when he mentioned he didn’t want to get scratched by pooch paws and bleed too much.
But he had a point. Earlier that week he’d “scratched” himself on the corner of his kitchen counter and it bled like crazy. Us older folks have thin skin and it doesn’t take much to bruise us or cause lots of bleeding with a simple scratch.
That afternoon I fell in love with “Luna”, a shiny, soft-coated Lab mix who, when I picked her up, hugged my neck. That did it.
Our application was approved and Luna became Blackie. Gary named her that after a favorite dog of his grandfather’s.
I won’t go into the details of our lives with Blacki because it’s still too painful to write about but I find myself missing her something fierce. We had to return her to the shelter (company policy, I’m told), so she was re-homed (though I don’t know with whom or how she’s doing – again, that company policy thing).
I have all kinds of photos of her. I’m not sorry I took them but they bring a catch in my throat when I run across them.
I had a Facebook friend who took me to task a bit when I wrote that due to Gary’s health issues we had to re-home our Blacki. She said something like, “I don’t know how to respond to this. It’s not Blacki’s fault.”
I couldn’t get that out of my head. We’d been online friends for years. We connected over our love of animals, but we also have the same political leanings and we prayed for each other and our pets. And now it was like she just didn’t get it and I needed her to.
She has an absolute right to feel how she feels and I have the same right to unfriend someone who brings me sadness. There’s enough stress going on around here to last a lifetime. There are a few who know exactly what I mean by that because they know our little family’s history.
We need to do what we can to get through Life. We prune and sort and prioritize until we come up with a balance that works – until it doesn’t – and then we do something about it.
I did, and though I occasionally miss my friend I have learned to go on without her. Someday, maybe I’ll make it through one day without thinking too much about Blacki.
And though I may never know where she is, I pray she’s with a family who knows just what kind of a precious soul she has. She deserves the best.
January 9, 2018