In the spring of 2012 we lost our first golden retriever. It was sudden, unexpected, and heart wrenching. Andi was a gorgeous girl and a really important part of our family. We grieved her terribly and felt like our remaining golden, Barkley, missed her, too.
It wasn’t long before Mike discovered there was a Golden Retriever Playgroup in our area. Have you ever heard of such? Isn’t that the most fun idea?!?! He reached out and got the information needed for us to check it out.
We were welcomed with open arms by the hosting family. (They became dear friends and trusted us with Gracie from one of their litters.) If you like dogs and big dogs make you smile, imagine being in a backyard with golden retrievers everywhere!! It was practically magical and one of the most fun things we could have ever done. Especially on the heels of saying good-bye to our golden girl.
In that playgroup was a gal who had a male golden. We got to know her through the group and kept in touch. At some point she was looking for a dog sitter and I offered. If you’ve ever had ‘visiting’ dogs in your home, you know, it can turn out to be a really positive experience or unfortunately, sometimes it just might not be a good fit? Well, this was a PERFECT fit!
By the first time that he spent a day with us, we were again a two-golden family – Gracie and Lucas (after sadly losing Barkley). Griffen walked in like he owned the place. Never looking back at his ‘mom’ and wondering where she was going. They became fast friends.
But the friendship that blossomed most was that of Jacob and Griffen. He would go to the hallway and turn around as if to say, ‘come on, Jacob, let’s go to your room’. If Jacob didn’t follow, he’d go there and wait.
It became a given, that if I couldn’t find Griff, he was in Jacob’s bedroom.
For several years, he was a frequent guest in our home. It is safe to say that we all loved having him visit.
Sometimes he might only stay for a few hours and sometimes for several days. But no matter, every single time, he made himself at home whether hanging out with Jacob or sunning on the chaise lounge outside.
Jacob has been around dogs most of his life. Some of ours were more comfortable around him and him them, than others. But, of the pets we have loved, none made a point to keep him company for hours and hours, like Griffen. It seemed they developed a bond. Unspoken. But a strong one none the less and were a comfort to each other.
When Griff crossed the Rainbow Bridge almost three years ago, it was hard and emotional. Felt like Jacob had lost a buddy. A buddy that was a special gift not just to Jacob but our family for a long time.
Decorating Jacob’s Christmas tree this year, and hanging ornaments gifted to him, brought back sweet memories and a time for me to talk to Jacob about his special friend.
The gift of blessings come to us in all forms and this four-legged prince of a fella was one of the best!
May you receive a blessing in an unexpected form this year! Merry Christmas!