A strange and wonderful thing happened at the most unexpected time. In the midst of all the stress of my mom’s recent passing, I experienced one of those moments that makes it clear, to me at least, that there are forces out there beyond explanation.
B. and I flew back to NY for the funeral about ten days ago. We arrived on Friday evening and spent the time until Sunday’s service at the home of dear friends out on eastern Long Island. Although these friends are dogless now (as are we), they used to have a loving, adoring, amazing Golden named TJ.
TJ and I were kindred spirits. Both blonde, both sweet, both happy to have our tummies tickled, TJ and I spent many hours together. One of my favorite moments was when the two of us sat side by side at our friends’ pool, my toes in the water, my arm around TJ, her tail wagging across the cement. TJ’s gift was her unending ability to make me feel calm, centered, and peaceful.
TJ passed on about two years ago, just before our friends relocated to NY. While their new home is beautiful, her absence is most definitely felt.
As we walked around the East End town that Saturday afternoon, I saw the most adorable Golden puppy (a tiny version of TJ) just a few yards ahead of us. When I asked if I could pet his dog, the owner was more than happy to let me. He said he was hoping to have the puppy become a therapy dog — one of those wonderful dogs trained to help those in need to heal. The dog and I engaged in about five minutes of joyful play, its sweet demeanor, its sense that I needed some extra loving, and its absolute adorableness completely making my day. Well, almost completely. Because when I asked the dog’s name, that final piece fell into place.
“His name is Toby,” the owner said. B., our friends, and I just looked at each other, speechless. TJ’s full name had been Toby Jr.; she had been named for our friends’ previous dog, Toby. And there it was — one of the universe’s ethereal, magical moments. It was as if, during one of the most difficult times of my life, TJ had come back to offer comfort and love.
What can I say? A case of the blonde leading the blonde.
© 2013 Claudia Grossman