Me and my dogs

 

I got my first dog as an adult, at 34.

While I was watching my mother’s dog, Harley, my cat, Lucy, died.

I couldn’t imagine coming home to an empty, lifeless apartment.

Also, I had gotten attached to Harley.

At first, I asked my mother if we could share Harley, as Lucy had passed and I was grief stricken.

Guilt goes a long way.

She dubiously agreed, because not only did she love Harley, but her boyfriend, soon to become her husband gave Harley to her for her previous birthday.

As the story goes, Harley became my dog full time, after much begging.

When my stepfather, Frank, who I loved dearly passed away, I had Harley as a loving reminder of Frank and his unconditional love and kindness towards me.

Harley was my last vestige of Frank, and he too, was a loving character. Harley had been through several romantic relationships with me and never left. We had conversations about what to eat for dinner and when we would take our walks. He let me know if we were going to the park, by turning left or the pet shop, by turning right.

Harley died two years after my stepfather, and when he passed, I grieved for both Harley and Frank all over again.