Driving home from Oxford today, I got the call I’d been dreading. My son, William, called and I heard grief and distress in his voice that made me want to turn around and drive to Nashville.
I had to pull over and sob. His 16 year old puppy, Abercrombie, was dying and he had to let her go. This pet bridged his life from child to adult, and I hope this is the hardest thing he ever has to do.
I remembered Abercrombie in her Halloween costume last year (above)…and a million other things about a simple canine that blessed our lives for so long.
William adopted her when my Golden Retriever, Cajun, had a litter of unknown origin back in the 1990s. She was the runt of the litter and no one wanted her. William, a college student at Ole Miss at the time, drove home after class one day and said “I’ll take her.”
They drove off back to Ole Miss in his late grandmother’s Ford Escort and became a team for life – at least hers.
I kept her while William went to Mexico to learn Spanish and while he traveled through Europe twice. I kept her to give him time to move to New Orleans to begin his new career and while he went skydiving and white water rafting. She sat patiently by the door waiting for him to come back.
Five years ago, when William’s world was blown away by Katrina, I kept her while he went to Nashville to find a new job and a new home. He couldn’t wait to get her back and begin life all over again.
I’ve never seen a more loved and pampered pet. She had no idea she was a dog. In return, she protected William when he lived in an area of the Irish Channel of New Orleans where people burglarized for recreation.
No one EVER dared break into his house, because she sounded way meaner than she was.
I dread when he has to go home tonight and Abercrombie isn’t waiting at the door the way she always does when she hears his car pull into the drive.
He will grieve and I will grieve with him.
I hate to hear people say “I will never have another pet because I can’t stand to lose another one.”
That’s just crazy. Why would anyone avoid loving something just because they don’t want to lose it. That goes for people, too. We all have more love in our hearts than we can ever know, unless we try, and keep trying, and keep trying….