229-888-0888 • www.puttingpeoplefirst.law Justice MONTHLY Rawson and Me THE PUPPY WHO WAS THERE FOR ME, AND THE OLD DOG I STILL CHERISH TODAY M y dad passed away just over nine years ago, and like any child does when they lose a parent, I was struggling with his passing. But at the time, I had a distraction to keep me busy throughout the grief and
arrangements. Amid supporting my family and processing what happened, I was also in charge of a 10-week-old puppy I had just adopted almost three weeks prior. At the time, Rawson was just like any other English Labrador puppy. He was excited, rambunctious, and a naughty troublemaker. Looking back, Rawson was the perfect, albeit exhausting, distraction I needed when one of the hardest events in my life had just occurred, even if his antics were unbearable at times. Rawson would chew on anything he could get his mouth on, and that lasted for a few years. His crazy, wild Lab energy was insurmountable, but thankfully, he had a sweet personality to make up for it. Despite his troublemaking, Rawson was a cushion to soften the blow of such a tremendous loss, and he’s been by my side through nine years of highs and lows. Today, that wild puppy has been replaced with an old man. Rawson is much more content with a nap on the couch than he is with a game of fetch, but he’s still a great companion. I actually had plenty of canine companions growing up, so adopting my own dog wasn’t that out of the ordinary. It did take some getting used to when I realized that I was solely in charge of my own dog, but at any given point growing up, we had one or two dogs in our home. Actually, during a brief period, we had three dogs at once. My mom always had cocker spaniels, but when I was 13 years old, I begged my parents for a golden retriever. Finally relenting, we adopted Bob the golden retriever, and I still laugh to this day thinking about how little responsibility I took for this dog I wanted so badly. Sure, I played and romped around the house with Bob, but he was ultimately my mom’s dog. Bob died at the age of 15, having lived a long, happy life following my mom around and hiking all over Colorado with her.
Over the years, I have thought about adopting another puppy. I had these temptations diminished recently after a friend of mine adopted a Labrador puppy. Watching this friend manage potty training, the constant chewing, and the energetic Lab spirit makes me think that maybe I don’t need another puppy. Rawson’s not one to get excited over puppies anymore, either. Practically speaking, a puppy might not fit with two old dogs like Rawson and me. Of course, I can’t help but admit that Rawson was just the puppy I needed during a time when a puppy shouldn’t have been able to fit into my life.
-William F. “Trey” Underwood, III
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