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End of the Month Weekends


by Uncle Bear

When Sandy settled into the back seat of the car, and all her worldly goods were placed in the trunk, I knew it was going to be another hard good-bye. As I stroked her soft silky fur and told her what a great dog she was, my mind went back to other neighborhood canines that had left with their owners for parts unknown.

Saturdays that mark the end of a month are very often moving away days for humans and their pets. For folks like myself losing neighbors who have become friends is tough, but saying good-bye to the four footed creatures we have learned to love and have returned that love unconditionally, is doubly tough.

calendar
End of the Month Days

After the vehicle carrying Sandy drove out of sight, my mood worsened. By that evening I wouldn't have been a fit companion for Lucifer himself. As I lay in bed that night I was thankful the next day would be both the beginning of a new month and a Sunday. My reasoning was, virtually no one moves away on the first day of the month, and Sunday mornings would herald a walk I take in conjunction with a volunteer duty.

As my Sunday a.m. walk was coming to an end and I was homeward bound, I saw them. Stopping and staring unabashed I studied the pair. He was a medium- size shaggy dog. While he was neither a pup nor a middle-aged dog, he was entering his prime of life. As he danced and pranced before my eyes, I beheld the "I-love-life" look in his eyes and the big grin on his muzzle. He was obviously a very happy canine. My gaze shifted to the dog's owner. She was a woman who also had that "I-love-life" look about her. Simply watching the pair, there was no missing the love and common bond that united them.

Walking up to the two while retrieving a doggie treat from a bag I carry, I addressed the owner, and asked if I might offer the canine a treat. Rather than reply directly to me, the animal-loving lady turn to her dog and asked, "Charlie Brown, do you think you'd like a treat?" With his tail wagging furiously Charlie Brown delivered a very affirmative "YES!"

While talking to the lady, I learned her name was Nan. I also discovered she and Charlie brown were new to the neighborhood, and had only moved into their new home the day before. I told Nan where I dwelt and any time I was home, and on my porch, there would be doggie treats on hand to be shared. Nan, in turn, shared with me where she and Charlie Brown resided.

After a couple more treats Nan and Charlie Brown continued their walk, while I turned toward home. While my heart held a small residue of sadness at saying "good-bye" to Sandy, the joy at meeting Charlie Brown and Nan put a spring in my step and the thought in my mind: "Perhaps end of the month weekends are not so bad after all."

Uncle Bear is a writer and researcher in North Carolina. He can be reached through: