Some years back, after I had acquired a new puppy, my mother, who was decidedly not a dog lover, asked me why I would want to learn to love something that was almost certainly going to predecease me. I pointed out that I loved her, and she too most probably would predecease me, which she did. I am telling you this as a preamble to the actual topic of this article. I did not listen to my mother then, and I did not listen12.5 years ago when we became the proud owner of a female Golden Retriever named Darby.
Darby left us about 1:00 a.m. this morning on July 16th, 2022. She was a kind and gentle dog and without any doubt extremely faithful. She rarely barked, but when she did one would sit up and take notice. She was a thief by nature and spent most of her early years stealing anything she could get her mouth around. I spent countless hours in the back yard searching for missing socks and shoes. She rarely would chew these items, she just like stealing them. I think her most atrocious act of thievery was when she stole and destroyed my city issued Blackberry. That did, however, have a positive outcome as the device was replaced with my first Android smart phone. That at a time when only the cool kids had smart phones.
Darby was quiet and timid and was only afraid of three things: thunderstorms, firecrackers, and everything else. She woke me up many times during the night to inform me that there was a thunderstorm, and I could tell by the pleading look she gave me that she wanted me to make it stop. Of course, eventually I would always make it stop, or at least I think that was her assumption. But it was comforting to me to know that she had that much faith in me that I could control the weather.
Darby was not the first dog I have lost to death. There have been quite a few before her as I have always had a K-9 companion at my side since I was a small boy. I just cannot imagine life without a dog. Fortunately, I still have another furry friend, Pepper, who is another story. Hopefully Pepper will be around for several more years, but I do not want to think about that right now. I have been informed that “there will be no more dogs” after he is gone. I can only say to that, “we shall see”.
Darby is the most recent in a long list of friends I have lost, most notably, but not all inclusive, were Libbi, Yittle, Blacki, and Schatzie. They all, I am sure, will be waiting on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge when my time comes to cross. I look forward to seeing them all again. Darby was a good companion, a great friend, and she brought a lot of love and joy into our lives. She will truly be missed. And that, Mom, is why.