We lost our last Labrador Retriever, Griffin, in the months preceding the pandemic. Only a few months later we lost Susan’s mother, the best mother-in-law I could have conjured from the depths of my imagination.
And then we plunged into the pandemic.
In those early weeks that bled into a month, then two months, we decided to follow through with a breeder with whom we’d placed a deposit months earlier. There’s more to this chapter of the story, but for present purposes let’s fast forward to the spirited fluff all that arrived in the late spring. Named Carley in memory of Susan’s late parents (Carter and Shirley), our pandemic puppy’s middle name (embraced enthusiastically by me, and begrudgingly by my bride), Corona, remains a constant reminder that a pandemic that tried to grind us all down still offered some glimmers of gold. This gentle Lab filled some gaping holes in our family with enough love to heal us. Queen Carley!
The photograph at the top of this post shows Carley (left) and Mae (right), a 10-month old service dog that Susan is helping train and acclimate to house life. The dogs are taking a break on Thanksgiving, rebooting for the arrival of dinner guests.
In the May 30, 2020 snapshot above, Carley was perfecting the skill that has served her well for two and a half years. The art of the snooze…
Two weeks later, on June 14, Carley welcomed me home after a mid-pandemic road trip. Perfect homecoming after two surreal weeks of COVID-19 dodging logistics.