A Beloved Football

A couple weeks ago we went to visit Michelle’s brother Kenny and his family.  This is something that we do regularly, since they only live two towns away from us.  We always take our dog, Dooney, when we visit.  Dooney is a Yorkie.  He is small, cute, smart and has a severe case of little-man’s-syndrome.  He believes that he is the king of any domain.  Like most other dogs, he enjoys going “Bye-Byes” in the car and he loves to play with Kenny’s dog, Nautica.  She is a Labradoodle who loves to fetch and swim in the pool.  This is her normal routine if Dooney is present or not.  Dooney simply runs around, like a puppy, chasing after Nautica and barking.  He never stops running and barking when he is with her.  She is so much bigger than he is and she seems to be able to totally ignore him.  In these moments, all of the rest of us wish that we could do that very same thing.  Needless to say, he sleeps well the night after a visit with Nautica.

There have been a few times when we have stayed at their house, while they were away, in order to take care of Nautica.  The last time this happened we, of course, took Dooney.  Since this visit would be for a week and not just for a day, we took Dooney’s stuff.  His bed, his bowls and some of his favorite toys.  One of which is a plush football that he is in the habit of carrying, anytime that he gets excited or nervous.  He loves that football.  After the week was over, we packed up our stuff and we headed home.

When we arrived home and we unpacked, neither Michelle nor I realized that we didn’t unpack Dooney’s football.  It wasn’t until a few days later, when one of those summer thunderstorms popped up, that we realized that Dooney didn’t have his football.  Whenever he would get nervous or excited, he would run over to his toy bin.  But this time there was no football.  He had to make due with another one of his toys.  Some time had passed since we were doggy-sitting Nautica, so we didn’t associate the missing football with our stay at Michelle’s brother’s house.  We simply believed that it was somewhere in our house and that Dooney would eventually find it.  Well, find it he never did.  We bought him new toys, some of which he liked, but none could take the place of his football.

Back to our visit, a couple weeks ago.  When we arrived, Dooney ran into the house, just as he always does,  Yet, this time he disappeared for a little bit.  Being that we were talking and catching up with everyone, we didn’t notice that he wasn’t with us.  When, all of a sudden, Dooney appeared and he had his football in his mouth.  We were overjoyed, because this football had been lost and now it was found.  Marsha, Kenny’s wife, told us that she didn’t know where that football had come from, but that Nautica liked to carry it around the house.  We then proceeded to tell everyone this story.

To Nautica’s chagrin, Dooney didn’t allow that football out of his sight.  Later that day, when we went to leave, we packed up the football and took it home with us.  Dooney was reunited with his old friend.  He has been carrying it around every day, ever since.  Now thunderstorms are more bearable.  He has something to cling to when my daughters come home to visit.  And he has something to retrieve when Michelle and I come home after being gone for any length of time.  That football is his favorite.  I am sure that whoever made it never thought that they were stitching together something that would be loved as much as Dooney loves that football.