Three animal lovers I know have lost pets during this already challenging time.
Kate said good bye to Mollie, her beloved kitty.
James, next door, Erin, Patrick the cat’s sister.
Danny, the florist, who has two Bull Mastiffs, now only has one, Homer dying of cancer.
Of the three lost, Homer is who I knew best.
I’d purposely stop by to see him and his brother Plato, who like Danny, would come out to greet me.
They’re such a handsome, friendly breed with a face that could break your heart, so when I found out Homer was no more, I wept alongside Danny.
It’s heartbreaking to lose an animal, because you truly lose a friend. They never leave you, unless they have to, like now when Danny said, “Homer held on as long as he could. He knew we needed him.”
On cue, as we sobbed, Plato came over to comfort us. Danny said he’s worried because he won’t eat, grieving for his brother.
Oh my, I thought, I need to help.
I asked if I could walk him since, I’ve done it before. Danny said, “I’m not sure he’ll go, he won’t leave my side.”
I don’t want to brag, but he clearly forgot who he was talking to. They don’t call me Joan of Bark for nothing.
I texted my neighbor who has Jack, the German Shepherd, and asked if they’d meet me on our corner.
She texted right back, yes.
Great, I answered, and bring biscuits and maybe a little ham, the Italian penicillin.
I then got on my knees hugging Plato, stroking his soft coat, whispering in his ear.
This is what I said.
My dearest puppy, I so know how you feel. You lost your brother, I lost my dad.
As his big brown eyes looked at me, I swear I saw tears.
I then said, Homer would want you to carry on. Walk, eat, play catch. And I have this pal named Jack. He’s younger than you, and could sure use a friend Plato, since he’s kinda shy, and cause he’s German, not always welcome…so what if me and you take a walk and see if he’s home?
Danny was shaking his head watching. “I don’t know what you’re saying to him, but he’ll never go.”
I stood up. Went over to where I knew his leash was, put it on, and guess what?
“See ya in a few Danny. We have a date, for lunch.”
Joan of Bark