I really didn’t want a dog. My husband and I both worked, our older son was on his own, our younger son working and attending college, and I knew there was a lot involved with caring for a dog.

Our younger son, Steve, however, always wanted a dog. I pointed out that he was at work or at school, and when he was home, he was out. I did promise, however, that I would buy him whatever dog he wanted when he had his own house.

Sure enough, Steve found a starter house and was set to close on it in June. Since his birthday was in May, he found the perfect dog, a Yellow Lab, and brought him home to our house. He had me at the first glance. We couldn’t get enough of him. He got so used to having his picture taken, that as soon as he saw me with the camera, he would stop and pose.

One of us was always with Brody. My husband and I worked days; our son (in law enforcement) worked nights. He would sit by me as I corrected papers (HS English teacher), and later, he convinced me to apply for the Assistant Principal’s job — really, I asked him! When I got that job, he continued to support me as I sat at the computer writing evaluations or reports. He came with us down the shore, loved going on our boat, and met new friends on “dog beach.“

He could get anything from me. If I was on the phone, he would bark, knowing I would walk to the pantry and give him a treat. If he did something wrong (pulling the stuffing out of a toy or chewing a pair of glasses), he would be very quiet and come to us looking for forgiveness (which he always got– plus more treats!).

Six months after he came into our lives, our son moved into his home, and what we missed most was his everlasting “puppy” behavior, greeting us at the door when we came home, waking from a dead sleep if anyone was having a snack in the kitchen, just cocking his head to be petted when he sat next to us. We saw him often at our son’s house, and we heard tales of his mischief, stepping in a paint can lid, grabbing food off the grill, eating a whole apple pie (that one with his lab brother, Booker).

He always knew our moods, both joyful and sorrowful. When we tragically lost our older son, and everyone gathered at our other son’s house, Brody walked around with his head down nuzzling us and quietly acknowledging our unimaginable grief. Although he had to be put down (old age infirmities), he is spoken about as one of the family. His photos adorn our walls, and he is still special to all of us. It is so very hard to say good-bye to someone you love.

Florida & New Jersey