When we moved into our present house many years ago, the back yard had an old, but prolific, pear tree. And we had two middle-aged dogs, a black Labrador named Gracie and a mutt named Twinkie, who was allegedly half-Golden Retriever. Never were two dogs closer friends, with our Lab being the leader, and our mutt being her loyal sidekick.
When the pear would bloom, Gracie would start looking up at it each day, very carefully. As soon as she saw any wee pearlets beginning, she would circle and bark at them. As they grew, she would continue to eye them and bark. And as soon as they began to ripen, she would stand and stare at the one she wanted, barking furiously until it was picked and handed to her. Twinkie always stood by, curled tail wiggling over her back, politely waiting for her pear, too.
The years passed, and the tradition of observing the pear tree closely continued, and as more and more time passed, both the dogs and the tree became weaker. Finally one last autumn, when both dogs were 16 years old and had eaten the last of the pears, they declined rapidly. They died within minutes of each other, Gracie carefully watching over Twinkie until she was safe, and then dying herself, after weakly shaking hands with our vets, who had rushed over to help.
And the pear died, too, and like our precious dogs, never saw another spring.
We have their urns, and we tell our new rescues, Sophie and Piglet, all about their older "sisters." One of the joys of my life has been rescuing animals, and our newest rescue, Piglet, not even here a week, already has a special place in my heart. He is disabled. It's a labor of love for that dog to haul his tiny self to his feet and totter over to us dragging a leg damaged from being caught in a chain for months. But he always does get up, "burbling" and smiling and tiny corkscrew tail shaking. I know some people feel they cannot "replace" one animal with another, and we didn't, but we did rescue these dogs in honor of Gracie and Twinkie.
Free printable antique fruit tags. Click the "P" to Pin, and click elsewhere on the image to enlarge it. Then right-click to save.