Huckleberry and Me

Long ago. I found a dog. A cute, little buff-colored Cocker Spaniel. Roaming around my neighborhood. Looking lost. Scared. And hungry. I picked him up. Oh so gently. And placed a bowl of water down, and some food. For him to drink from, and to nibble at. Then I made a sign, determined to find its owner, yet hoping no one would respond. Just so I could keep that sweet little pup. With me. Forever and ever.

Happily, for the Spaniel, someone called. Said they’d be right over. To pick up their beloved pup. And to thank me for taking care of him.

Well, right then and there, I decided I wanted a Cocker Spaniel of my own. To name. To feed. To care for. So I searched the papers. For dogs. And found someone selling buff-colored pups. Only six or so weeks old. So I called. To say I wanted one. But, they honestly told me that the dogs did not have papers proving they were a breed. And because of that, they were selling them for cheaper than cheap. Which I didn’t mind. About the papers. All I knew was that I wanted one. One of those Spaniels. One of those pups.

When the time was right, I picked one up, and brought it home to care for. And to love. And named him Huckleberry. Like Tom Sawyer’s friend.

huckleberry

Then one day, I moved. Moved far away. To an apartment where dogs weren’t allowed. So, I left him behind. Hoping he’d be okay. And he was. Until the day he was hit by a car. And taken to the vet. Who told me Huckleberry had been injured. That it was serious. And the best option was to put him down. To sleep. To euthanize him.

I went to see him. To say goodbye. I hugged him. Kissed him. Petted him, gently. And then  waited. Until I had to walk away. Sadly. With tears in my eyes.

I returned home. To my boyfriend. And fell into his arms. Crying like an unsoothable baby. Until I was all cried out. Then I began to talk. About Huckleberry. How I felt I had failed him. And swore I would never, ever get a dog again. Not until I was fully dedicated to caring for him.

In the end, I spoke about how special Huckleberry was. How sweet. And gentle. And how forever his name will remind me of a buff-colored Spaniel, from long ago.

a letter to 16 year old me

Dear Daphne,

Remember to be yourself. Believe in who you are. You don’t need to be like her. Or her. Or even her. You have as much to offer as they do. Maybe more. And what’s so bad about that girl. The one over there. The one everyone seems to be avoiding. She’s just being herself. Just wanting what we all want. Friendship. Go talk to her. She will appreciate your kindness.

It’s not about popularity, but rather about integrity. So, just be you. Speak up. Talk. It’s not hard at all. Just ask questions. People like to answer what they know. So ask them about them. Their life. And fit in your life stories. When you can. When there is a break in conversation. They want to get to know you, too. They do.

Go out. Enjoy hanging out with people. Stop worrying about what everyone is thinking. Who cares. No one, really. All the downs will make the ups so much more rewarding. Remember that. Life is a series of lessons. Lessons to help mold who you will grow up to be. A person who cares about others. About life. A person who is a realist. Someone who knows anything can happen anytime. Anywhere. To anyone.

So simply enjoy your youth. Laugh. A lot. Out loud. For the world to see. To experience. Fall into bed each night knowing, there is so much more to life. Than being an insecure young girl.

♥ Love your wiser, more mature, experienced self.