Dear Boy

A good dog is one of life’s greatest gifts. Today’s post is dedicated to Rin, my husband’s childhood pet.

Dear Boy,

It is late. I am thinking about you sleeping upstairs. I wish I could get up there like I used to; I feel I should be near you tonight.

But I content myself with knowing that you are here and safe.

I think about the first time I saw you.

There you came with your mom and dad, looking at all my brothers and sisters at the place where we were born. As soon as I saw you, I knew: That is my Boy. That is my Boy. I ran straight to you, your arms went around me, and that was the moment we began. How excited you were to give me my name. Rin Tin Tin, you said. He was famous and you look just like him!

I was just happy because you were happy.

Do you remember taking me to classes? I do. How proud I was to learn what you wanted, to make you so pleased with me.

I’d do anything for you, my Boy. I hope you know.

I remember that bad time when I was still a very young dog and you were so sad. When your dad left for work and never came back. I knew you were hurting and afraid; that’s why I stayed so close. I gave you all the comfort I knew how, the warmth of my body, the occasional lick for reassurance. I watched you while you slept in case you woke and needed me.

You’re my everything, Boy. You always were.

Remember how you’d throw a stick for me to fetch, over and over and over, because I never got tired of it? How I miss that! I will still fetch for you, Boy, if you would only let me. That’s why I keep finding sticks and bringing them to you even though I understand you don’t want me to run. I know I am slow and yes, it hurts my old hip—but it is what we do. It is what we always did. So much fun, so much joy. If I could have fit your basketball in my mouth all those hours and days and weeks and years you were out on the backyard court, I’d have played that with you, too. But it was enough for me just to run beside you.

Perhaps tonight I will dream of those days, when we ran and ran and you got tired but I never did. I am tired now. I want you to know that whatever comes, Boy, I would do it all again. Every bit of it.

You’re my life, Boy. I love you so.

Now I lay me down to sleep. I’ll wait for you in the morning.

Goodnight, Boy.

Rin

*******

On the morning after the Boy and I got married, his mother found Rin unresponsive. He’d had a stroke. He died later that day at the vet’s office.

He was thirteen.

I’ve always believed you knew that you finished your job, Rin. You saw the Boy safely off to his adult life on the last day of your own. Thank you, Rin Tin Tin, good and faithful servant, for giving him your all.

The Boy loves you still.

13 thoughts on “Dear Boy

  1. This is absolutely beautiful, Fran. I love the image of Rin seeing your husband for the first time and claiming him. A beautiful perspective. We often think of humans choosing the dog, but maybe just maybe the dog chose us. Thanks for starting my morning off with a sweet slice that ends softly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Dawn. Look how puppy Rin loves the Boy (my future husband) in that photo! I’ve wanted to write about Rin for a long time. I still can’t get over his stroke and passing away on the day after our wedding. It was like he knew “the Boy’s” childhood was over and it was time to go. I appreciate your thoughts so much.

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    • Thank you – I didn’t think of writing from Rin’s POV until the last, after wanting to tell his story for a long time. So, I let him tell it. He chose the letter format. 🙂

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  2. I almost knew what was coming, but it still brought a tear to my eye. What a faithful, loving servant. I don’t know if animals talk in your attempts at novel-writing, but I know that if they do, they have found their voice in you. Have you read Mountain Dog by Margarita Engle? Your post brought it to mind.

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  3. Ok. So after reading about your holy sunray, I am absolutely unable to read this post…right at this moment. I got through the first 3 lines and had to scroll past. I will return to it later when my eyes are not leaky rivers of love. Thank you for writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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