Sanctuary 2.0: It’s Never Too Late

I could have called this post Christmas miracles, but that would be hyperbolic and hokey. I mean, it’s not like I found a Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun under my non-existent Christmas tree this morning. However, two unexpected events at the Little House on the Prairie have really made this month even lovelier than planned.

You can teach an old dog new tricks. (Unknown, modified)

Trotsky Bear—my jealous, protective, and vicious beast—has been spending a lot of time with another dog lately and hasn’t mauled him yet. In fact, they play together. Play! Trotsky doesn’t play with other dogs. At the off-leash park, he prefers to spend his time sniffing around the perimeter, and if another dog invades his space for more than 20 seconds, Trotsky usually starts to growl. But he and Stuff are almost buds. They stay in separate rooms most of the time, thanks to a chair-icade we’ve constructed, but walk together twice a day and enjoying chasing each other around and tumbling on the ground. At least once a day, they lounge several feet from each other, but only when Stuff is firmly rooted to the sofa, behind protective human arms and legs, just in case. A massive cuddle pile on the bed together will likely prove too much too soon for this visit, but there’s hope for a lasting doggie friendship here.  

 

Ah, how good it feels! The hand of an old friend. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Twenty years passed between the pictures you see below and 18 years since this lovely gal and I have seen each other, but two weeks ago, the moratorium ended. We met our first semester at Gettysburg College in fall 1997, but when I transferred back to a state school we eventually lost touch. Remember, this was the pre-social media, and largely pre-cell phone, era. When she found me at the beginning of this year, through the power of the love-to-hate-it Facebook, a visit was inevitable. She and her brother, both of whom I spent the big Y2K NYE celebration in New Orleans with, came out to Colorado for a few days and what a great few days it was! We reminisced, caught each other up on the highlights of the two intervening decades, and talked about future plans—all of which conversation flowed as if there had been no intervening time at all. What was most interesting to me was the things I had either forgotten about her and her family and life, or that I never knew to begin with. With so much time in between, sometimes it’s hard to know which. But no matter either way. It seems to me that we have even more in common than I knew in the first iteration of our friendship. To be able to talk to someone who once meant so much to me (and now does again!) is a wonderful occasion.

 

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