Another animal lover friend sent me this article from the Modern Maturity Mag. If you have a dog you will enjoy this story.
She was only a mixed breed scrap of a dog. Her colors were black and tan, but her eyes were what made me take her. They were warm and had gold flecks in them. Other than that, she was nothing unusual, or as my father put it, "A damn nuisance." I called her Princess.
Dad Preferred his hunting dog, a massive hound named Rudy, who followed him everywhere. Rudy had status, Princess was barely tolerated. At mealtimes, she would wait until Rudy ate, then settle for scraps. She slept beside my bed, content that at least one person loved her. One day Princess started barking like mad near the railroad tracks that ran beside our house. We realized something was wrong when Dad said Rudy had gotten loose. We followed Princess, who led us to Rudy's lifeless body beside the tracks. His neck was broken.Dad stumbled back to the house in shock. The task of burying the huge dog fell to me. As I dug, Princess sat next to the body with a perplexed look in her eyes. When I lowered Rudy into the grave, she showed alarm. When I began to cover him with dirt she became visibly agitated, so much so that I hurriedly unburied Rudy and made sure he was dead. When I finished, Princess tried to unbury him. I chased her away. She tried again. I held her to me and told her through my tears that her friend was gone. An odd expression came over her features, and she walked over to the grave and lay across Rudy's final resting place. That night I tried to get her inside, but she wouldn't budge. I tried to get her to eat, but she ignored the bowl. Next day the same thing. That night a howling rainstorm roared in. She was still there the following morning and kept her vigil throughout the rainy day. I told Dad I was worried but he said "She'll be in when she gets hungry and wet enough."He clearly wasn't concerned over what he considered an inferior animal. More important, he was doing his own grieving. Until then he had not been able to even look at his pet's grave. The next morning Princess was still in place. I ran downstairs, determined this time to drag her off. I stopped when I saw Dad emerge from the parlor carrying his buffalo robe blanket. No one was ever allowed to touch that blanket. He told me to stay put. I watched from the window as he shook out the blanket above Princess's soaked form Wrapped her up and lifted her into his arms like a child. He told us to get towells and warm soapy water. My sister and I wanted to care for her but he wouldn't allow it. Never looking up as he worked on the bedraggled animal, he said the job was his alone. He cleaned off the mud and dried her shivering body. Then he took her in his lap. For a long time he sat there, tears running down his cheeks, the only sound in the room the rain beating on the windows. Finally, he declared that as long as he lived, Princess would sit at his feet, sleep on his bed, and eat from his plate. He said that he had never known such loyalty from man or beast and that he would honor her always.
Carol Ann Baum, a former school bus driver is a New Jersey-based free lance writer. Her dad and Princess are deceased.
Hope you enjoyed.