Since the time change this past weekend, I have made a conscious effort to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Fortunately, the weather has cooperated. Kris and I get home from work, gather the dogs and the leashes, and head to the park for a nice pre-dinner walk.
Jen and Bella
On Tuesday evening, I had an unexpected conversation. We were on the dock, near the edge of the lake. A young boy, probably about seven years old, rode up on his scooter.
“Can I pet your dog?” he asked politely.
“Sure, she would love it.”
“What is her name?”
“This is Jen, and that is Bella over there.” I pointed towards Kris who was wrangling Bella away from the geese in the lake.
“My dog died the other day. She had cancer.” He said it so matter-of-fact, with the slightest edge of emotion. He looked up at me.
“Oh, I am so sorry to hear that,” I said. He looked away, like he was about to cry.
“Petting your dog makes me happy. She is nice.” He scratched behind Jen’s ear.
“She is a sweet girl.”
“Thank you. Have a nice day. You too, Jen.” He gave a quick smile and got back on the scooter.
He left just as quickly as he had come. However, the simplicity and the substance of the conversation stuck with me. The ten to fifteen seconds were enough to make me realize how precious life and companionship are. They were also enough to put a smile on a little boy’s face.
I gave Jen a little squeeze as we ran to catch up with Kris and Bella.