My granddaughter, my little dog Luna, and I were in the toy store yesterday, shopping for a birthday present. Minding our own business.
Another grandmother was also there with her two grandchildren, who wanted to pet Luna. My granddaughter, who is three, was encouraging them to touch her long tail.
Other Grandmother (OG): Thank you for helping them learn to pet your dog. We always had dogs but right now we don’t, and the kids really need the exposure.
Me: Luna is a good one for that.
OG: She’s adorable.
Me: Yes, thank you. Will you get another dog soon?
OG: <distressed> We lost our dog five years ago.
Me: I’m sorry. That’s so hard.
OG: She was The Dog. You know?
Me: <thinking of Aiko> Yes. I know.
OG: The Dog of a Lifetime.
We stand by the princess crowns and unicorns, looking at one another. Our Spirit Dogs sniff each others’ spirit butts around our feet.
OG: <brightens> But it was all OK in the end. Do you know we knew exactly what day we would have her put down?
OG: Yes. It was the anniversary of our son’s death.
OG: <smiling> So you see? He got his dog back! I can see it; I did see it! She ran into his arms and he wasn’t alone anymore, over there. They were – they are – together.
Me: <silent> …nods.
OG: So…that’s why it’s hard to get another dog. But I’m giving it some thought.
The kids lose interest in Luna, and our Spirit Dogs wander off.
OG: Well, we need to get going. Thanks for letting us pet your puppy!