You know this dog.
This is the dog that greets you from the edge of his yard–never leaving it–as you take your daily walk by his house. He wags his tail for a few pats on the head and a kind word before you travel on your way. After several days, months, and years of this ritual, you notice he watches for you. He greets you and your dogs with respect. He even puts up with the new puppy. You become acquainted with his owners. You express appreciation for this dog who isn’t yours, yet somehow is.
Then, one day, you learn he has traveled on his way.
Yet, you will carry on his legacy.
You will let his owner greet your puppy with a few pats on the head and a kind word. You will hug her as she grieves and shares about her dog’s final days. You will share your own grief about your dog who passed on a few short days before hers. You will celebrate his life with pictures. You will travel on your way with tears, hoping she will one day enjoy new life pulling at the leash.
The next day, you will keep walking. You will stop when a little girl shouts, “There’s Shadow!” You will let her pet your puppy because you know this dog.
You want her to know him, too.