Was talking about this post today with a friend. Some of Ducky’s best work. :-)
Ducky: You OK, Dad?
Me: Yeah. Sorry about last night.
Ducky: You were pretty upset. Did something happen? Did you lose a toy?
Me: Ha. No. Just feeling lonely.
Ducky: I understand. That’s how I feel when you go to work. But you always come back so I can deal.
Me: Yeah. It’s a different kind of lonely, Duck. You wouldn’t understand.
Ducky: Can I tell you a story, Dad?
Ducky: You know you weren’t my first Daddy, right?
Ducky: I loved my first Daddy very much. He took care of me when I was very young. He taught me how to sit, and shake hands, and walk on a leash. He pet me. He made me feel very special.
Ducky: And then one day he left. And left me behind.
Me: At that apartment complex.
Ducky. Yup. And I looked for him for a long time. And when I couldn’t find him I waited for him to come back. And when he didn’t come back, I just sat in those fields spent my days wondering what I did to drive him away. And if I was going to be alone forever.
Me: Sorry, Duck. That must have been awful.
Ducky: But then Judy showed up.
Me: From the shelter.
Ducky: Yup. And she cleaned me up, and took care of me, gave me a place to live, and was a really good friend to me when I needed it. If she hadn’t found me I don’t know what would have happened.
Me: She’s a good person.
Ducky: Yeah. But not a daddy. Do you remember when you found me?
Me: Yeah. At that event at work. Your mom and I had lost Sam a few months earlier. We walked around the corner and there you were.
Ducky: Yup with those two younger, cuter puppies in the crate right next to me.
Me: Yeah. I opened up your crate and you crawled right onto my lap. Like you belonged there.
Ducky: Uh huh. That’s where I was supposed to be. And I didn’t know it until it you were right there in front of me. Until then I really thought I would never have another Daddy. Not a real one.
Me: A real one?
Ducky: Dogs can tell when they have a real daddy and when they’re just being “kept” because they’re fun or cute.
Ducky: But you were real. And I found my home that day. I still love and miss my first Daddy, but I am so glad to be here with you.
Ducky: Being lonely and alone hurt, but it got me to a place where I found my real Daddy. So taking the long view, it was worth the pain.
Ducky: You’re gonna’ be ok, Daddy.
Me: Thanks, Duck. Love you.
Ducky: Love you too, Daddy.