Today while at church, a sweet older gentleman came up to me.
I knew who he was, just had never really engaged in a conversation with him
other than a polite hello and head nod.
He took my hand, in his old weathered hand and started to tell me how he had
heard about Jack dying of cancer a few months ago and how he had noticed I was not my normal
cheerful self as much as I used to be. He kept on talking and told me about his
old dog, a lab also named Jack, who had lived to be 18 before he had to let him go.
The man was a widower, and the dog had been his whole life since his wife passed away.
By then, I was biting my quivering lip.
And at that point, he pulled out a crumpled old piece of paper that had obviously
been folded and refolded many times over. The handwritten words were written
in a very shakey script....He said that when his dog died, a friend kept telling him
that it was " just a dog." And it hurt him, "cut me right to the heart" as he put it.
He said that one day his grand child sent him a "new fangled" thing called an email
on that "fancy" computer. He cried when he read the email, and wanted to remember
what he read forever, and read it to Jack at his grave down by the old oak tree.
His grand child told him she would print it out and bring it to him next time she saw him.
He thought that if a child could print the email, certainly he could, despite his creaky old hands.
Two days later, he had hand PRINTED the email onto the paper he now held.
( He didnt realize at the time that his grandchild meant she would print it on a PRINTER,
didn't know there was such a thing. )
Slowly, he began to recite the words to me.
And I cried as he read it. Many people around us cried.
When he was done, he slowly refolded the paper.
He took my hand and placed the paper in my palm, closing my fingers over it.
Patting my hand with his.
"You take it. You need this now."
So I have it, sitting here looking at it now.
I searched and found the original content online and cut & paste it here
in hopes you all might enjoy it.
I feel guilty that I just cut and paste, took all of 15 seconds.
While the paper I stare at took this old gentleman two days to write by hand.
I feel honored he gave it to me, and will place it under my Jack's little
brown box for now.
Hope you enjoy this and it touches you,
and that this old gentleman's sweet gesture lives on.
JUST A DOG
From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a dog,"
or "that's a lot of money for just a dog."
They don't understand the distance travelled, the time spent,
or the costs involved for "just a dog."
Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a dog."
Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a dog,"
but I did not once feel slighted.
Some of my saddest moments have been brought aobut by
"just a dog," and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch
of "just a dog" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.
If you, too, think it's "just a dog," then you probably understand
phrases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise."
"Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship,
trust, and pure unbridled joy.
"Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience
that make me a better person.
Because of "just a dog" I will rise early, take long walks and look
longingly to the future.
So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a dog"
but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future,
the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.
"Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts
away from myself and the worries of the day.
I hope that someday they can understand that its' not "just a dog"
but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being
"just a man" or "just a woman."
So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog,"
because they "just don't understand."
awwww I'm going to give my doggies big hugs now (as I wipe away the tears)
Charlie and Beau... Brotherly Love
I've read that before and love it.. but the story about the man and his dog - that's what got me.
Thank you for sharing that, my tears are inconsequential, but the way that made my heart smile means more than anything. Dogs are definitely the best thingp in the world.
Maxx & Emma Jean
Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.
That has been one of my favortie poems, along with The Rainbow Bridge, Lend me a Pup, and Letter from your Pet in Heaven, and it's so true. That man was an angel sent to help you, Bless Him.
Some people just don't understand or have never experienced that special bond you have with your pets. When Joe had his elbow surgery and I was so upset an "ex-friend" told me "I don't know why you're spending so much money or why you're so upset, "it's" only a dog!", a real friend gave me the poem.
Last edited by Kori; 10-29-2012 at 04:06 PM.
Love it and even more, Love the story by which it came into your hands!
I needed a Kleenex to finish that. I had read it before & it always makes me tear up. The story about the man really touched my heart. I am so glad we know our fur friends are more than "just a dog." The ones who don't know are missing so much.
I would to give that to my Inlaws they don't understand why a dog should be in the house. I very impolitely asked them to leave based on lack of concern for my pup.
Max's favorite place, a walk through a state park with the kids
Max Born February 2012, Adopted May 2012....
I want to thank you for sharing your story and that poem here. I was deeply touched by your story of the elderly man.