Today I am grateful for loyalty. The news is full of loyalty these days, with mom’s pleading for their sons lives and sadly losing them anyway. But incredible acts of loyalty, on a much smaller scale, yet every bit as important, exist right in my own back yard, too.
I’ve see him many times and it’s easy to notice that the young man is a very strong, sturdy, athletic-type. Buff. “In” to fitness. Probably eats tree bark for a special treat. He usually walks with purpose, fast and strong and alone. Until recently.
Now he’s trailed by a cute, older, small white dog who wears the man’s ID badge on his collar. The pup is his shadow, literally moving when he moves and stopping when he stops. It’s incredible to watch. That little old dog can buck and weave around him like Bojangles on stairs. “There’s a story here,” I say to him, one day, when we nearly bump into each other. “Cute pup, but not exactly the kind I’d picture you with.” He chuckles and agrees. Then he gives me the background.
He and his elderly mom searched all over for an assisted living place that she could move into, get the moderate help she needs and still keep her precious little white dog. Finally they found the ideal situation and both settled in nicely. For a short while.
Then his mom fell and broke her hip and everything changed. She was no longer able to let the pup out as much as necessary, so her son agreed to keep him for her. The loss of a pet is difficult for anyone, but to an elderly person, who is already losing their independence and looks to them for constant companionship, it can be the final devastating blow. This amazing, son understands, so he frequently takes the pup for visits with his mom. . .“their” mom. . .often leaving him alone with her for long periods of time so they can re-connect. I’m sure she has long discussions with the pup about how she never expected to be in this position and the pup probably sits on her lap adoring every word.
The pup is very happy to be loyal to more than one master. . . both the mom and her son. I am grateful the story laced with true loyalty all around was shared with me. And now, judging by his new jersey, they pup is also becoming an Eagles football fan! Monitor and adjust! Smart dog. Everyone wins.