The Other Lady

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Dear Reader, I really need your help this time. Maybe you can finish this story because I truly don’t know the ending. But when we finally get there, I’m sure of one thing. There will be endless hugs and kisses. Confused? Just keep reading. All will be made clearer soon.

Last Saturday, during a ride on the golf cart with The Wife, a wonderful and unexpected thing occurred. Suddenly, just up ahead coming around the bend, there appeared a beautiful young lady slowly jogging toward us.

Now, folks enjoying an early evening jog on our cart path isn’t out of the ordinary, but as she drew closer and our eyes met, one look told me that this lady was out of the ordinary. Upon seeing us, her slow jog turned into a run. What happened next has set in motion a big change in our married life. I can say, without a doubt, soon there’s gonna be another lady moving in with us. Only I just don’t know which one — there’s so many to choose from.

Drawing closer, a smile spread across her face as she moved to my side of the cart path. It was a smile of recognition — of seeing a long-lost friend. The Wife remarked, “She’s looking right at you.”

The lady also caught the attention of our two granddaughters riding on back of the golf cart. They echoed The Wife. I’d never seen the short, brown-haired beauty before, but there was no denying it: she was heading straight for me. Slowing down and moving to the right, I gave her plenty of room. The girls waved to the lady as we passed and then started to giggle.

“Papa, she’s following us!” A glance in the mirror confirmed what they had said. The lady had indeed turned around and was now running in our direction. I kept driving, but The Wife and our granddaughters asked me to stop. It was obvious that the lady was following us for a reason, so I did. That’s when it happened.

The lady ran over and without hesitation, jumped in the golf cart, then into my lap, giving me a big hug and lots of kisses. The girls started to giggle once again, “She loves you, Papa.”

“She really does,” The Wife remarked, “Have you two already met?”

As I continued to rub and pet the friendly dog, I replied that I’d never seen her before.

“Well, she must have a male owner because she just loves you.” Pit Bulls were supposed to be mean and aggressive, but this lady was the sweetest dog any of us had ever been around. After giving hugs and kisses to all of us, we placed her back down on the cart path and slowly drove away, knowing that some owner would be glad to have their sweet lady back. Then the girls started to giggle.

“Papa, she’s following us again!” Sure enough, the lady was once again jogging after us. The faster we went, the faster she ran. When we stopped, she immediately jumped back into my lap. The hugs, kisses, rubbing and petting from all of us started all over.

It’s been over six years since we lost our black lab, Country. He’d gotten out of our fence while we were enjoying a much-needed vacation. Running free at night, something the 16-year-old lab loved to do, he was hit by a car. His passing broke all of our hearts, and to be honest, I didn’t think I could bear that kind of pain ever again.

As we watched that beautiful lady jog away from our golf cart, I realized now that that has been a selfish way to think. The pain of his passing had blinded me. For you see, I’d forgotten all the love and friendship that a dog brings into a family — and the love a family can give back to a dog.

So now, Dear Reader, I’m asking for your help. We’re searching for a new family member. A lady who can give endless hugs and kisses and can keep up with two energetic young girls. Someone who likes taking long slow jogs down golf cart paths in the evening and doesn’t mind riding on laps on the way back. A lady who, perhaps, won’t mind lying next to a newspaper columnist as he writes his weekly stories — keeping each other company as they both grow old together.

[Rick Ryckeley has been writing stories since 2001. To read more of Rick’s stories, visit his blog: storiesbyrick.wordpress.com.]