Monday, January 24, 2011

Love That Dog

This must be how parents feel. They have their first child and love that child more than they thought their hearts were capable of loving. They have a second child and worry if it’s possible to make room in their hearts to love that child as much as the first. But their hearts grow wider and they do. (Or, in the case of my own parents, they love that second child even more than the first. I kid, Mom and Dad, I kid.) In some cases, the third or fourth (or even more) come along. And their hearts grow and grow.

I’ve found myself in that position. (I realize, of course, that children are not dogs and vice versa.) With Wookiee, it was love at first sight. I fell head-over-heels in love with that fur ball. I was convinced that he was the physical manifestation of love. [And we only had him for one week!] I doubted that another foster dog would come along that I could love like that.

But he did. He was black and white and fuzzy all over, and his name was Jack. And although I’ve called him lots of different variations of that name, I actually called him Boo Bear in our quiet hours. It took a little longer for me to love that dog—to trust each other and to grow accustomed to each other’s idiosyncrasies. It was the logical type of bond that grows slow and deep. I love that dog.

For those of you who live in the world of children’s literature like I do, you probably know Sharon Creech’s book, Love That Dog. It's a series of poems written by a boy who happens to be named Jack. When Jack's teacher tells him to write a poem about a pet, he writes,

So much depends
a blue car splatted with mud
speeding down the road.

As Jack grows as a poet throughout the school year, he opens up about the loss of his dog, Sky, and finds solace in his writing. The book ends up with his poem, Love That Dog.

Love that dog
like a bird loves to fly
I said I love that dog
like a bird loves to fly
Love to call him in the morning
love to call him
“Hey there, Sky.”

This love story is not too different from another one I know by heart.

When Jack's forever family picks him up tomorrow, they'll begin to write their own love story together. And we are so grateful to have been part of it. 


  1. Will you get to keep in touch with Jack?
    We are so happy he's getting adopted but we will miss hearing about him. We can't wait to see who you take care of next!

  2. Yes, we will! His forever family said they will send updates. He's one lucky dog to be adopted by them! The next foster is due up on Saturday, so stay tuned.