It was just about a year and a half ago when my dear, sweet, polar bear of a golden retriever Blue died. I cried for a month. I couldn’t bare being in the house without him. I dreaded opening the door on my return without his joyous greeting. Carol and I went to a hotel to get a break from it all. We cried there instead.
I shared this all with you. And if you recall I swore I would never get another dog again, to spare myself the pain. And then within a month, Carol and I visited a breeder, our eyes turned to a tiny Golden with a blue ribbon around his neck, we swooped him up in our arms, named him Sky and brought him home.
He has changed my life and taught me an enduring lesson. Every morning we leave the house for a mini hike. He roars out of the door and throws himself out into the woods, sailing over rocks, chasing deer, chewing branches and when there is ice or snow on the ground (such as this morning), laying down and sliding as far as the momentum will take him. Everything is an adventure, a joy, a miracle to him (as it should be to all of us).
I didn’t know of Sky 16 months ago. Now I don’t understand how I could live without him. Only dog lovers would get this but he is far from a “dog.” Like Blue and Quincy before him, they are family members. And to me, Sky is even more than that. I am a father of sons, whom I adore. They have moved on to lives of their own and though we remain very, very close, they are no longer the little boys who followed dad’s every move with wide-eyed amazement.
When I don my boots, Sky wants to don his. When I stand on a boulder, Sky stands next to me, scanning the woods the way I do. When I dive in the pool, Sky launches himself into the air, landing by my side, wanting to swim, swim, swim together. I have a little boy again. I am teaching him about life. He is reminding me about the passion and friendship that are so precious in life.
At night, after our final walk under the moon, he is tired but resists the bed, wanting to stay with Carol and I, to fight the exhaustion, to be close to us. I sense it and it saddens me to say goodnight, except for the fact that I know he will fly into my arms once again in the morning. And I will light up from the pure and unrestricted innocent love he hands out. He is
And of all that he has taught me, most important is to never let fear stop you from moving on to love again. The heart is capable of almost everything we ask of it.