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Old New Orleans

Nancy's Journal
Precious and Dear
From the very beginning, when he was just a tiny puppy, there was never any doubt that
Junior was special.  Since we have tended to take in 4-legged orphans over the years,
Junior was never an "only dog."  But, through the sheer force of his personality, he
endeared himself to us until he held an extraordinarily special place in our hearts.  I often
told him so, at least once a day, I told him that he was so precious and dear to us.
It was one of his self-appointed duties to look after me and keep track of my where-abouts
at all times.  He took this duty seriously and accomplished it with an unfailing faithfulness
and intense vigilance.  Though he may, at times, have appeared to be in the middle of a
contented nap, every few minutes or so, he'd lift his head and scan the room.  If I was still
there, his head would drop back down to his bed and the nap would continue.  If I wasn't
(and I often tip-toed out of the room, trying not to disturb him), he'd immediately get up and
track me down.
When he found me, he'd give me that sad look I knew so well:   "Why did you leave me?  I
wanted to be with you!"  But, this was only a brief scolding, one that was always quickly
followed by a happy, enthusiastic wag of the tail:  "It's okay, I forgive you.  We're together
now, that's all that matters."
When I left to go on an errand or when I worked in the yard on the days it was too hot for
him to stay outside with me, he'd wait faithfully by the back door, staring forlornly through
the glass.  When I came back, "the look" was in full force:   "Why did you leave me?  I
wanted to be with you!"  But, then:   "It's okay, I forgive you.  We're together now, that's all
that matters."
He kept track of me for 16 years, living to just 4 days shy of his 16th birthday - a long life for
a large dog.  But a hundred years wouldn't have been long enough for the people who
love him.  His heart finally failed him.  But, neither he nor his heart ever failed us.
There are no words to describe how much I miss my constant companion.  I miss him every
minute of the day.  This is my hope, the soothing balm that, at least, attempts to act as a
buffer to the ache in my heart:
One day, Junior and I will be together again.  When I arrive, he'll be waiting for me:   "Why
did you let me leave without you?  I wanted to be with you!"
But, then:   "It's okay, I forgive you.  We're together now, that's all that matters."
This page is dedicated to Junior.
A faithful companion.
A precious and dear friend.
June 16, 1995 - June 12, 2011

~ & ~

To Dr. Dean and his staff,
who were so kind to Junior,
and to me.
A dog's eyes have the power to speak a great language.  -- Martin Buber
My dog ... my friend ... the heartbeat at my feet.  -- Edith Wharton
I have come to believe that dogs are our link to paradise.  -- Milan Kundera
Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes?  -- Theophile Gautier
It takes a long time to grow an old friend.  -- John Leonard
He's my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above
the winds.  He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being;
by the way he rests his head against my leg, by the way he thumps his tail at my
smallest smile, by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him.  
When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive.  When I am angry, he clowns to
make me smile.  When I am happy, he is joy unbounded.  With him, I can face
anything.  He is loyalty itself.  With him, I know a secret comfort and private
peace.  His head on my knee can heal my human hurts.  His presence is
protection against my fears of dark and unknown things.  He has promised to wait
for me ... whenever ... wherever ... in case I need him.  And I will need him.  I
always have.
--  Author Unknown
Junior, watching and waiting for his mom.

~  ~  ~
When I wrote this poem awhile back,
it was with Junior in mind ...

Worries are neglected,
Old hurts are rejected,
Cares and fears deflected,
Our attitude's affected,
Our focus re-directed,
Our feelings are protected,
Good times are recollected,
And love's sweetly reflected
In the eyes of a friend.

-- by Nancy Brister
My heart still aches in sadness
and secret tears still flow...
what it meant to lose you,
no one will ever know.