This occurred many of years ago and it would not right if i did not give pre-text to this chapter…
it was 1990  my service in the US Navy had been ended due to the loss of my wife and the care of my four year old son Nick had been the grounds for my dismissal.
We arrived in NY with little aside from the clothes on our back. My son was young and there were not many ways to help him understand the why\’s and hows to all the many questions he had

To make ends meet i had taken on several jobs and meanwhile Nick had became a bit quiet, caught up in his own sense of loss. he had lost both parents in a sense and it was beginning to manifest itself in behavior problems.

One day my son was visiting with his cousin and discovered they had adopted a a young shepherd mix. It was love in a NY minute between them. Later that day it was all he could tell me about and asked incessantly on when we could have a dog.
I tried to explain our situation as best as one could to a young child smitten w/ a playful canine pal. It was a struggle to keep food on the table and pay the rent.
In two weeks time i thought i had dodged the bullet on adding to our gang of two. But I had to ponder Nick\’s renewed solitude, Each conversation was yes and no… There was no adjectives in the description of the days events. In a effort to get him to open up again I asked about the dog.
\”she\’s gone\” with tears almost immediately flowing out. Given all we had lost I didn\’t understand –  I instantly assumed the dog had passed away. I hold myself trying to re-explain all that i had already failed to correctly define. He just walked away to the sole bedroom in the apartment and laid down to cry his heart out. after he went sleep that night… i headed out to work but lost in whole sense of grief. It was so much on my thoughts i made a detour in the morning to stop in on sister who had lost this lovely little pup surely she must be in a sullen mood.
she greeted me warmly at the door\”Hey stranger! We haven\’t seen you around forever\”
\”Work \” i explained –  i was bit taken aback  she was in pretty good spirits all things considered After a bit more i finally brought up the subject
\” Nick told me about your dog… i am so sorry\”
\”Well I\’m not… it was just too much … \” she answered so matter of fact ly i was thoroughly looped
She continued
\” Karl And alex did even like the dog they calling it Bleck or something and i was the only one even caring for it… i just thought it wasn\’t really fair to the dog… she deserved better\”
I presume the look on my exhausted face rallied my confusion at that point
\” We returned her to the shelter\”
Suddenly the clouds up above my head and it became nearly biblical prophecy as to what i had to do
I received all the necessary information from my sister and headed home.

I would not have much time to act i had a shift at the drug store in the afternoon and really desired to get some rest before it.

Nick was escorted home by our neighbor in the early afternoon.  as he opened the door the young dog rushed him.
his face lit up in a brilliance i had not seen in over 2 years.
She was named Missy and gave us much more then we ever could have imagined. She told us to play, laugh, and enjoy things again. She brought out of the malaise that had enveloped Nick and myself…
About two years later, She had gotten out of the house and was struck by a car. we found beside the road. She was not gone and I got to be with her before she past away.

It was profoundly sad to us but something had changed W/ Nick  and myself. We were not so destroyed by our grief that we lost sight of the life she gave us. we spend so much energy  in depression before trying to figure out things left unknown and unknowable… that we had closed our eyes to the life that was shared.

Pat from NY