When our Cocker Spaniel Brody died, my husband George was inconsolable.
Brody was a very gentle, very loving companion dog with big, warm brown eyes and a golden, curly coat that almost always looked mussed up – like an old suit that needed a good pressing. If Brody was a human, you’d be suggesting to him that he might like to run a brush through his “do” before he went out.
But the plain fact of the matter was, Brody didn’t care what he looked like. The only thing he cared about was that George was by his side. You see, someone had abandoned Brody at our local animal shelter, and George was the one who rescued him by bringing him home to us.
To Brody, that meant he owed George – in spades. And he spent the rest of his days repaying his debt by loving George with all of his little canine heart. George, in return, loved him back by lavishing on him more attention than any little furry, four-legged critter could possibly hope for.
When the day came that Brody was losing control of his bodily functions, George took him to our veterinarian and listened with a heavy heart to the advice that for the dog’s sake, Brody should be put down.
Shaken and clearly distraught that night at supper, my husband vowed, “That’s it – no more dogs.” It was just too difficult to part with the wonderful, unconditional love that a good companion animal can provide.
I looked at the Resident Dog Whisperer with an expression that said, “You without a dog? That’s like a world without Ford, GM and Chrysler.” It just couldn’t be imagined.
As each subsequent day passed, our house was strangely quiet. No dog greeted us at the door when we came home. No dog curled up beside us each night as we watched TV. I scanned my husband’s face for a clue as to how long this situation would play out.
But George was adamant. No more dogs. No more heartache. He was more stoic than a Scottish clansman in a kilt on a windy, chilly day.
Two weeks later, I had just about decided that my husband was over the trauma of losing Brody, when he strode through the door of our humble abode with renewed vigour, a spring in his step and a smile on his face.
“Where were you today?” I asked him casually. “I called from work and you didn’t answer.”
“I won’t tell you,” he said, coyly. “I’ll show you.” He disappeared into the garage and came back In his arms was a little black and white dog, part terrier, part border collie, with the cutest little curl in his tail, and a coat that looked like it needed a good brushing.
“I got him at the animal shelter,” George stated proudly. “He needed me.”