The Heart of the Matter

“I got the call today
That I didn’t wanna hear
But I knew that it would come
An old, true friend of ours was talkin’ on the phone
She said you’d found someone…”  ~Don Henley

My Dearest King, My Darling Boy,

I never expected to fall so deeply in love with your big headed, tender-spirited Royal Highness.

But I did.  And now I have to let you go.

Maybe it was destined, after all I’m “the bully girl” around here, so it just stands to reason that I would take a liking to you.  But it was more than that.  You came to the shelter and you were confused.  You were without you family and without your little chihuahuas and in a kennel all by yourself;  next to others in kennels all by themselves.  Your first week was hard but so many of us…and yes I was a part of that…tried to make your stay more bearable.  You needed your people and I was determined to be a reasonable substitute until you were united with your new family.  A family that will love you and be devoted to you.  The family you deserve.

As our outings together became more and more meaningful, I found it hard to leave but when I was able to pull myself away, I obsessed thought about you and how we could make you ours, at least in the short term.

On our walks you were a good listener and darned near the best leash walker I’d seen in the kennels.  You pulled a little but were easy to correct with a stop and a sound.  You sat for treats and offered your sit as a “please” when you thought you might score some tasty tibits.  I’m surprised that you are so treat motivated and yet so immune to the call of a bully stick.  And stuffies?  Stuffies lasted simply ages in your kennel.  You’re a sweet soul.

You kept your Royal name, King, but I joked with “Daddy” that I have another one picked out for you.  For a brief amount of time you were Herman…until the day when your true name revealed itself.  King.  For so long, Ray has been known as the Little Prince and you?  You are the King.  The King of Hearts.  The King of my heart.

As more than a fortnight passed and your family didn’t come back for you, you grew sad. 

You kept to your bed and didn’t come so eagerly to the front of the kennel so I took you out for a few field trips.  “Checking you out of the library” is how we jokingly refered to it.  Again, you were the best.  Ride in a truck?  Check.  Sit nicely?  Check.  Work in an office?  Check.  Ride in an elevator?  Check.  Share a lunch?  Yep…with the softest mouth ever, even though I know you were excited about the fries.

I went from smitten to in love.  Nobody was fooled.  Except maybe me a little.  Fooling myself.

You big headed lug.  You passed all the tempement tests.  And then you did it again, and again.  You were cat tested with the Big Meanie, just for us.  Mama heard someone say that you were their favorite at the shelter…and such a good boy “especially for a pit bull.”  Only you aren’t  good for a Pit Bull.  You’re a good dog.  Period. 

My darling boy, my King of Hearts, continue to be a good pup and a great ambassador for all block heads everywhere.  Show your new family every day how awesome The King is. If you think of me, remember how much I love you and how proud I am of you.  Remember me fondly as a friend who tried to help make your stay a little more comfortable as you wait to embark on your new life.  I hope you get lots of the Colonel’s potato wedges that you love so much.

The REAL Goodbye

“Mama” will always love you.  Goodbye.

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15 thoughts on “The Heart of the Matter

  1. Oh, I am feeling so happy and so sad all at the same time. I hope that King's family will love him so much as you do and that he will be so happy with them for all of his days. And I hope that you will see him again someday and you will be able to know that he is happy and loved and his life is good.

  2. I might be able to say more to this if I wasn't crying. What a honey! The shelter is lucky to have you for a volunteer. I hear often how pit bull-type dogs crash the worst in shelters because they are so people social so that extra enrichment is so important.

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