I was reminded today of how quickly life can change. This is the story of two friendships and, for me, this is a reminder to never take anything for granted.
A couple of years ago, I met a woman I'll call K while I was out walking my dog. Our dogs were instantly drawn to each other. Both are large, gentle breed dogs. We would run into each other so frequently that we began to talk and share our lives. Our dogs would walk side by side or play together at the park or in my front yard. We have a lot in common, K and I. Our children went to school together, my old boss is a member of the church K's husband pastors, both she and her husband and my husband and I have a love for travel. After vacations we eagerly meet, while out walking, to give one another the details of our trips. K and her husband are beautiful people, inside and out, and often running into them is one of the highlights of my day.
Running into their dog, N, is definitely one of the highlights of my dog, Sierra's day. Sierra is getting older and her walks have become shorter, but she always has energy when N is around. They've become such good buddy's that often N won't take a dog cookie from K when offered it, preferring to drop it and let Sierra have it. He is quite the gentleman. Just last Thursday, N and Sierra shared a good roll in the damp grass together in my front yard.
I received a phone call from K this morning telling me that N is very very sick and is fighting for his life. N has contracted an auto-immune disease and the vet doesn't know if he is going to make it. K says that there were no symptoms of anything being wrong. N was fine one moment and gravely ill several hours later. N is only 6 years old and in the prime of his life. There is a multitude of good sniffs that N hasn't sniffed yet. There are balls to chase, grass to roll in and cookies that still need to be shared with Sierra.
While K and her husband were sitting with N yesterday they were trying to talk to him and encourage him to get better. They asked him where each of their children were and he would move his eyes around the room. Then, for some reason, they asked him where Sierra was. He picked up his head and looked around the room. He was looking for his doggy girlfriend and he had perked up slightly.
K asked me today if she could come and rub a towel on Sierra to take to the vet's to have N sleep with. She thought that since he seemed to respond to her name that perhaps he would really respond to her scent. Of course I agreed. I then got the idea to get one of Sierra's stuffed toys and send it to the vet with K. Sierra chewed on it some and layed on it and got it good and doggy gross. K came over and rubbed a towel all over Sierra, wrapped the stuffed toy in it, and headed to the vet to sit with her precious N.
I know, that to many, N is just a dog, but this story just touches my heart. Because of two dogs that needed to be walked, I made a new friend. From N's response, when hearing Sierra's name, it's obvious that two dogs made friends as well. Get well N. We are praying for you. The trails are still calling your name.