I have written before about how dogs can help people even when they don’t realize they are doing it, just by being themselves. This is a story about a Golden Retriever named Harvey, and the love he brings to a broken-hearted woman.
Harvey lived on the same street that Mrs. Adams did. The only interaction they had was when Mrs. Adams would walk her little dog Wolf by Harvey’s house. The goofy golden always ambled over to watch them. A sturdy fence kept the tiny pup and the golden separated, except for swapping scents.
Sadly, the lion angels came for Wolf. The seventeen-year-old dog fought them as much as he could. His mom was 80, and they hoped to go together. But, scheduling Bridge departures is frowned upon, and unexpected arrivals sometimes are not allowed access to the Bridge and are left on the shore for years, until their due date. One day in April, Wolf could not fight anymore, and he left his mom broken-hearted. Because of her advanced age, and having no one who could take a new dog if something happened to her, Mrs. Adams could not find a new dog to heal her broken heart.
When Wolf left, Mrs. Adams craved normalcy. She kept going on her walks, and Harvey continued to bound over to greet her when she passed. Harvey stood on his back legs, his head poking over the fence. When you lose a dog, being able to touch another one, to feel the soft fur, maybe get a loving lick, looking into those deep, caring eyes, is like healing medicine. It is not as powerful as bringing a new pup into the house, but every bit of dog contact helps.
Harvey helped Mrs. Adams through one of the darkest periods of her long life. She decided to let Harvey’s parents know how much their sweet dogs meant to her. She wrote a long letter detailing how Harvey had comforted her and left it in their mailbox. When they read it, Harvey’s parents were surprised that their dog was bringing so much comfort to a stranger. They were also very proud of their boy.
They knew they had to do more for Mrs. Adams than just a quick visit while walking. Mrs. Adams had left no contact information, and none of their friends knew her. One day Harvey’s mom sat in the yard waiting with her dog for his new friend to walk past. There were many false alarms because Harvey ran to the fence whenever someone walked down the busy street. But, when he jumped up and ran to the barrier with great anticipation, his mom followed and saw the older woman rubbing his ears.
Harvey’s mother approached Mrs. Adams and introduced herself. She said it was silly for her and Harvey to meet over a fence. She asked Mrs. Adams if she wanted to come into the house and play with him. She said that she would be delighted. Since that day, Mrs. Adams has been to Harvey’s house for meals and family gatherings. She thought Harvey was just giving her a dog, but he was giving her a family.
I am sure that Wolf helped a lot getting her mom together with her new friends and their golden dog, but for now, we are willing to let Harvey take the credit for reaching out to someone in pain and make their lives better just by being him.