Once upon a time, there was a third grade teacher with a great class. One student really shone, not only because he was intelligent; he was exceptionally kind, generous, and humble about it as well. And for an added bonus, his mom stepped up to be an incredible room mother. That family had a beautiful golden retriever named Lucy. This teacher knew she was beautiful because her student had brought Lucy to show the class for his Star of the Week sharing. Now this was a risky thing to do, because a pet sharing event had gone badly in a different classroom, and this teacher wasn’t sure if dogs were still allowed on campus. So after several conversations about it, she arranged to have this sharing on the playground right at the dismissal bell, when children could choose to either leave or stay for the presentation. The teacher quickly relaxed after seeing how gentle and calm Lucy was with all of the children. We loved Lucy.
Soon afterwards, Lucy accidentally found herself with child(ren) from a neighborhood purebred professional stud who had broken down the garage door opener in order to make her that way. Because the stud’s owner did not want to pay for repairs to the garage door, he denied paternity. So the amazing room mom was free to find homes for the eight puppies that arrived six weeks later. She asked me if I wanted a purebred golden retriever puppy without papers. I had always been a mutt/pound rescue kind of dog owner, so this threw me off. But when she persisted, and I went to visit her brood, how could I not? I had over an acre of fenced yard, an elderly dog who could take a puppy under wing, and two boys still at home to help civilize a new little wild thing.
I chose Emma.
But she was already gentle, calm, and dare I even say, sedate, from day one. She needed no training, because she always lived to love us, and to be loved by us. That was all.
Now as I write, with tears streaming, I can find contentment in knowing that we had the best: being loved by, and loving our Emma these twelve years we’ve had together, which ended yesterday. I miss her so.