When I was three years old I wanted a cat very much. The rest of my family, however wanted a dog, so that is why we ended up at a yellow Labrador breeder in the fall of 1995. I was vigilant in the fact that I was not going to love this dog or play with it. As each little puppy was passed around I didn’t pet a single one. And when it came time to pick I had no opinion. Being at the bottom of the list, we had the option of taking home “Light Blue”, who had tested low on his intelligence tests, or wait for the next batch of puppies to arrive. My parents decided on taking Light Blue, who soon became Tucker. Sulking the entire way home, I promised myself, for silent protesting purposes, to ignore the new addition to our family, who was not the feline I so wanted.
The young puppy quickly grew and by two years was a full grown dog. Quick as can be, he would shoot out of the house if the door was opened the smallest crack. If a plate was left too close to the edge of the dinner table it would be quickly wiped clean by the yellow ball of fire who could jump like a rabbit to get what he wanted. These skills also came in handy when intruding squirrels got in his territory and needed to be barked at, so they knew who was the sheriff in town. The little three year old sulker was now a five year old, who loved this dog immensely.
As all living things do, the dog and I grew up. The dog, ever energetic, didn’t even begin to slow down until the age of 10. I only grew busier as time passed, having new experiences, more responsibilities, and began to consider the dog a slight nuisance who got hair on my clothes and barked at my friends. But, deep down, I still loved him. The dog got older, and sick, and the once ball of fur became the lump of fur, until he died at the old age of 13.
As a young sixteen year old , many believe I don’t know much. But, I know what I believe. And I believe in love. I believe, whether it is between friends, a pet, family, or that “special someone”, there is a bond that connects everyone. At least once, and hopefully more than that, every human has loved someone. It can be a willingness to die for them, a special feeling whenever you see them, or just wanting to be near them, but it’s love. I believe that love can withstand all boundaries, all obstacles, all the crap that can be thrown a person’s way. Love does not know the divide of life and death, between this world and the next. Love causes laughter, tears, heartache, and happiness. Love is one of the few things that comes with us wherever we go. Transcending life, it never fails and never leaves. My loyal companion, the one friend I would never fight with, left me here to finish my life. But, my love, keeps us together, forever close, although we are so far apart.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.