My Story

That Special Dog

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When I was growing up, my dad and his two brothers always said, “You will have one dog in your life that you will never forget. You will have many dogs, but only one will know you better than all the rest.” I have been blessed with two dogs that fit the bill.

The first was a Border Collie named Reba. From the time she was a pup, I could see she was something special. It seemed she knew what I was thinking before I did. When she looked at me, I saw the happiness and love in her eyes.

During Reba’s first year of life, I don’t think she was ever much more than 10 feet away from me. I took her everywhere I went, even to work. Her only bad habit was chasing squirrels. I got her to stop once in a while, but not very often.

The last time I saw Reba, we were getting ready to leave for a job in another state. We got out of the truck, and she took off after a squirrel. She ran across the road and about two blocks down to send that squirrel up the tree. She then came prancing back with her chest stuck out, as if to say, “Look at me! I just saved you from that big, mean squirrel.”

I tried to stop her, but she ran out in front of a truck. Her death was one of the worst losses of my life. I still remember it like it was yesterday, and it’s been 30 years.

Reba was the one dog that my dad and uncle had told me about, and I gave up on having another. I am 50 years old now and raising my own family. We’ve had a lot of dogs. There were ones I liked, but there was never another Reba.

Last year came Gus, a Standard Poodle. He was the runt of the litter and the one we decided to keep. It’s been a year since he was born and I see in him the same eyes Reba had. He sits in the chair with me, turns his head and stares at me. I can’t go anywhere without him (not that I would want to). Sometimes I wake in the night to find him on the bed with his nose just inches from my face, looking at me with those eyes. When I get ready for work, he comes and lies on my feet so I can’t put on my boots or he puts his head in my lap so I can’t get out of my chair. We truly do love each other.

If your dad or uncle tells you that you will have one special dog in your life, don’t give up. Have hope because sometimes you get two.

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Mission Viejo, CA 92690


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