The dog of your boyhood teaches you a great deal about friendship and love and death; Old Skip was my brother. They had buried him under our elm tree, they said– yet this wasn’t totally true for he really lay buried in my heart.
Willie Morris; My Dog Skip
For nine years I have watched the same story unfold. I watched my son grow from kindergarten youth through his boyhood to his teens with one constant. His dog.
Whenever he went outside the dog was at his side. Whenever he hiked in the woods the dog followed. Whenever he was sick, the dog stood guard.
When there were turbulent times the dog provided calm. Where there was grief the dog provided comfort. When his parents didn’t get him, his dog did.
This was a loyal dog.
I learned something else this week. This boy is loyal too.
His dog was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy 6 months ago. DM is progressive disease in canines that affects the spinal cord and eventually renders the dog paralyzed.
This boy watched his brave, strong protector become the one who needed protecting.
The boy looked after him. He laid him on the couch to watch movies with him. He fed him. He brushed his hair. He carried him outside when his legs wouldn’t work.
The disease progressed very fast. His dog had to be put down this week. This is their last good-bye.
A boy and his dog.
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17