Mom came up to spend the weekend, and got me out of the house and out in the sunshine. I think we must have walked twenty miles today, window-shopping in town, running a dozen or so errands, and just hanging together. May I have half the energy she does if I make it to 70.
We took my daughter to our favorite bakery in town so we could have some pastries and tea. We went outside to sit for a few minutes, and met a young couple out walking their two beautiful Shelties, a golden-brown and white sable and a very light blue merle. The little blue merle was almost identical in size, shape and personality to Missy, the Sheltie we lost to cancer two years ago. The only difference between them is that Missy was a tri-color (you can see the color differences here.) The dogs were very well-behaved, but most Shelties are angels that way.
The couple told us the dogs' names were Jessie and Skye, and asked my daughter if she would watch them while they went into the bakery. I thought my kid would burst into song, she was so delighted to be asked.
I was not so thrilled. I haven't gone near a Sheltie since Missy died, and I haven't wanted to. I was bracing myself to go and look at some new pups after the first of the year (the breeders we've contacted who have new puppies don't have any old enough to come home with us for Christmas.) Add to that my depression over Frank's death, and I thought I might start wailing right there. Then Skye, the little blue merle, came to sit at my feet, just the way Missy used to when she wanted a scratch behind the ears.
Here was this beautiful animal, the color of cookies and cream, staring up at me with that hopeful expression I have seen a hundred thousand times since Missy came into my life. He wasn't my Missy, but he didn't know that I loved another dog who resembled him. It didn't matter that in ten minutes he and his owners would move on, or that he'd likely never see me again. He just wanted some love and attention, and I looked like an okay human to him.
I petted Skye, and gave him a good scratch behind both ears, and talked to him, and watched the joy light up his eyes. Ten minutes later we were both headed in different directions, probably never to meet again.
But that was okay, too. That is life. I just needed to be reminded of it.