Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Gentle Giant

Once upon a time, not that long ago, a puppy was born. He was a sweet puppy with great big paws and beautiful golden eyes. Despite the gentle glow in those eyes, his family looked at his mighty paws and christened him, "Bruiser", for they thought he would grow to be a giant, and indeed he did.

Bruiser grew and grew, as he lived with his first family, but he never lost his gentle spirit. Even though his brothers and sisters would often push him out of the way when it was time to eat, or pick on him in other ways, he didn't lose heart.

Before long his first family needed to move, and they couldn't keep Bruiser, so they looked far and wide for a family that would love their gentle giant. One day, as the cold winter winds blew, a family came to visit the dog. They brought with them a very special little girl, a little girl who loved dogs, big and small, and who needed a loving companion who was both tough and tender. The little girl was nervous at first, for Bruiser had a mighty bark, but soon she was laughing as he ran and played around her. The parents of the little girl saw just what they had been looking for, and so it came to pass that Bruiser would continue on with a new family.

From the moment Bruiser arrived, he was comfortable, almost as if he was always meant to be there. A great love blossomed between Bruiser and the family. He sought their attention and love, and joyfully played in their big green yard. He loved most though, that special little girl, who would shower him with affection. Each day he would wait anxiously while she was away, and then greet her joyfully when she arrived back home. He reveled in the times when she would throw her little arms around his neck and softly whisper, "I love you, Bruiser." Those were the times when his heart was the fullest.

The parents of the little girl would watch in amazement as the great dog would sit patiently as the little girl adorned him with silly hats and funny scarves, and they would laugh when the two of them would howl loudly, singing at the top of their lungs. They liked it best though when Bruiser would keep watch over his little girl, and guard her from strangers, or scary noises. They knew that he would defend their little girl at all costs.

And the family was happy.

Years passed and the little girl grew, and so did the bond between her and Bruiser. But far, far too soon the parents began to notice changes in their beloved dog. They noticed the once nimble animal limping when he walked, and his back becoming thinner. They noticed that he spent more time sleeping, and he became more fearful. It was the day that he cried out in pain that confirmed their fears. Their protector was very sick indeed. With heavy hearts they took him to the doctor, only to hear that he was in great pain, and they loved him far too much to let him stay that way. And so, it was his time to leave the family.

There is now an empty space in the house where those great paws used to romp and play. There is a heartbeat missing from the family, and because of this there is grief. They know the sadness will lessen with time, and eventually the special little girl will stop asking, "Where's Bruiser?", but he will never leave their hearts or their memories, for their Gentle Giant was special, and a soul such as his will always leave a lasting impression.