My grandfather had a dog named Pete. Actually, when my sister picked him up from the vet his name was Jeb. Someone had dropped him off because they couldn’t take care of him anymore. My grandfather couldn’t remember the pup’s name, so he changed it to Pete. It was funny because he switched the name so he could remember it, but he rarely called Pete, Pete. Often times he called him Molly, which was his previous dog’s name.
Anyway, Pete was my grandfather's companion. Being in his nineties and living alone wasn’t the most fun, but he always had Pete. Pete was a wonderful sidekick.
My grandfather passed away at ninety-one, four years after Pete came to live with him. All my family members are huge dog lovers, but when it came to re-homing Pete it seemed that the 19-pound Jack Russell mix might just be too much for anyone to take on. My sister and brother-in-law already had three big dogs. My parents live in Chicago in a mid-rise and travel for work. My great aunt already had two dogs. It seemed the only logical placement for Pete was with Mark and me.
We were hesitant. We brought him home “Only for the time being… until we can figure out what to do with him.” We already had an 80-pound, perfect Boxer named Buster. Buster is calm, cautious, rarely barks, and doesn’t jump on people. He’s never thrashed a trash can, chewed a sofa cushion, or bit a bystander. Buster almost never leaves the yard. He might as well wear a stack of halos because he is an angel. Pete is a wonderful dog… for my grandfather. We didn’t want to take-in another ball of fur that could possibly taint our perfect situation.
One week turned into two, and two weeks turned into a month. Pete started getting used to the routine and we enjoyed the pitter patter of a second set of paws running around the house. It felt more than normal; it was needed.
Fast forward four months and I bought Pete a green harness, collar, and leash that matches Buster’s. Every morning the boys walk through the community with confidence and swagger. Now that Pete is an official Kinsley family member, I couldn’t imagine our home without him.
When I reflect on Pete coming to live with us it reminds me that giving people and situations a try can open up delightful gifts that I would never receive if I hadn’t have been flexible and willing to try. It reminds me that sometimes I need to take things one day at a time and slow down. What might first seem like an inconvenience is where you may find the most happiness.
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