But that dog could love. He was a lap dog, despite being triple the size of one. He didn't yelp. He was obedient and kind, and he lived to be one hundred years old. At least that's how it felt. By the time I was a teenager, I couldn't remember a time when Blue wasn't there.
Childhood passed and as I moved into adulthood, I didn't have a pet of my own. I was allergic to most, and lazy to boot. I adopted a kitten once, for about 2 days, before it scratched me and I pouted my way into having Mom take over its guardianship. Because, as some may know, my Mom is fully obsessed with keeping animals as pets.
When my step-Dad's birthday was approaching one year, it was decided that a dog would be the only appropriate gift to give. We drove out to the animal shelter and found "Bailey", a pure bred golden lab. On the drive home with beautiful Bailey, we passed a blaring fire truck and were serenaded with the most heart felt howl we had ever heard. Bailey was thus christened "Chief" and we spent many years ever after listening to him howl at the cue of a siren.
Chief was patient as a soul could be. His ears were used as teething implements for all the children in his life. He was the least threatening dog in the world, and therefore the worst guard dog one could ever employ. When a drunk from Hess Village helped himself to Mom and Jay's couch in the middle of the night, Chief was found cuddled up on the couch next to him.
No one concerned themselves more with your tears. If you approached him with an invisible ache in your heart, Chief knew, and would remain by your side until you felt better. He was possessive of his Master and was rewarded with a loyalty that never seized.
Yesterday, Mom and Jay said goodbye to Chief. Like Blue, I don't remember a time when they weren't a trio. It will be strange to imagine Jay sitting down with a coffee without Chief under the table, by his feet. Or Mom on the couch with a book, Chief curled up beside, letting out a contented side. He was their best friend.