You will be so proud, I'm not taking the easy way out and pretending that it's the day I got married. I think we all know that I would be lying if I said that. The day after, maybe, because that was lots and lots of fun, but not the day of my wedding. No sir or ma'am. And since I ruled out that, I decided to also rule out Ammon's and my first date. It was too easy, and I've told that story more than once. I'm sure some of you could tell it better than I can at this point. No, I went way back in my archives, back to the "dog days of summer" for this one. **HINT: That was foreshadowing**
I was 12 at the time, and it was summer. My dad was out of town, and we'd just gotten our very first puppy: a Chocolate Lab puppy that my dad would train to be his first hunting dog. We'd barely had him a week, but already, we all loved that soft little fluff of fur named Bruno.
My childhood best friend was over, and we were hanging out, as we always did. She too, was already in love with Bruno, and his enormous paws. For years to come, she and I could never say "Bruno" without immediately following it up with "big paws". Anyway, she was over and we were hanging out. Suddenly, the dog went missing. Oh dang. For those of you who might not know, purebred hunting dogs, even untrained, are worth a lot of money. Once they're trained??? It's like a national disaster if one goes missing. So childhood best friend and I take off through the neighborhood in search of this precious puppy. We searched for over an hour... the neighborhood we grew up in is large and sprawling, and surrounded on 3 sides by open space. When dogs get loose in that area, it can be a huge challenge to find them. Despite our worry, the two of us had a blast trying to find him. We got to talk, and run around, and look in stuff, and call out in loud voices for that tiny little puppy.
My mom found him sleeping on the cover for the grill when we were out looking, and since in those days, cell phones were not what they are today, she just had to wait for us to turn up at home empty handed and dejected that the puppy still hadn't been found.
I would relive this memory over and over for so many reasons. The first being that Bruno was a stinking adorable puppy who I loved with every fiber of my being, until he stopped being a puppy, and started being a bonehead (his aptly coined adult nickname), at which time I decided I loved him 85% of the time. I would relive it for the relief of knowing that precious life was safe, and that my dad wasn't going to kill all of us in a blinding fit of rage.
Mostly, though, I would relive it to have those extra moments with my best friend. We were at a high point in our relationship as friends, during that tumultuous early-teen time when friendships are rockier than a mountain range. We had no way of knowing that in another year, her whole family would move to Singapore, and how that would change our lives. We had no way of knowing that from that moment on, we would never be in the position to see each other, or talk on the phone every single day, ever again. At that moment, as long as we wanted to see each other, we could. As long as we wanted to talk to each other, it was available.
As the years have gone on, this friend and I have remained in touch, to varying degrees of success. But one thing I have always felt a keen sadness about is the fact that we aren't close like we used to be. That if we had to run off chasing a dog for an hour, there would be awkward pauses, and perhaps some starts and stops in the conversation. The easiness simply isn't there like it used to be. To re-live that, to recapture that... it would be a true gift indeed.