Two Dogs, a Girl, and a Bedtime Ritual
We’ve all heard the stories about pit bulls. The warnings, the rumors, and the defenses. Just like with any debate, heated opinions are rampant on both sides; but as also is the case with such debates, sometimes there comes a particular instance which can bring everyone to a pause.
Zack was a pit lab mix, who shared ‘his people’ with another dog named Sam. This family of four then welcomed a tiny new member in the form of a baby girl, and there was an initial apprehension. After all, pit bulls are an aggressive breed, right? So how would Zack behave with the infant?
The worry dissipated as Zack bonded almost immediately with the child. He became her protector, her playmate, and her best friend. As she got a little older he would sense when it was bedtime, wait for her at the bottom of the stairs, and walk her up to her room where he would sleep on her bed. It was a consistent ritual and a beautiful partnership.
Sadly, five years after their friendship began, it was painfully cut short. Some neighbor kids poisoned Zack, and the little girl had to say goodbye to her furry guardian. The depth of the situation did not sink in until that evening, when she stood alone at the foot of the stairs, ready for bed.
As the child waited there, horrified and hurting at the realization that, for the first time in her life, Zack would not be there to accompany her, something happened. Sam, the other dog, stepped in. He nuzzled her. He placed his paw on the stairs. And he looked at her as if to say, “I’m here, I’ve got you.”
While we cannot fully comprehend what animals feel or how they think, sometimes they surprise us and warm our hearts immensely. Regardless of breed, Zack expressed an undeniable and unfathomable love for a baby girl. And somehow on that tearful night, Sam knew what was needed, and he fulfilled that need. He picked up Zack’s torch, and for the next six years—until his death—he walked that little girl to bed.
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