The search was on. I needed to find the perfect friend for my disabled brother, Steve. Steve, due to a head injury, was going blind, losing his hearing, acquiring a speech impediment, and becoming unable to walk without assistance. With all this happening to him, people were finding it hard to relate to him. But, I thought, what about a dog? I set out to find the one friend that could always relate to him and love him, no matter what! Steve’s new friend had to be medium size, gentle, loving and understanding, and also, a light color, preferably white. This would make it easier for Steve to see his new friend.
I was off to the local animal shelter to explain what I was looking for. They understood, but, at the moment, no dog like that was available.
Every day, I would call the shelter to inquire. Finally, a peek-a-poo had been surrendered to the shelter: a five year old named Teddy.
I immediately set out for the shelter, my heart racing at the thought that, yes, this was the one! Indeed, the first time I set eyes on Teddy, I knew he would become Steve’s perfect friend.
The shelter staff allowed me to take Teddy out for a walk. Teddy was gentle, loving, medium size, and white. In other words, he was perfect! The shelter staff allowed me to make arrangements for a vet check-up, and, to be all set at home before taking Teddy to meet Steve.
I raced home to get everything ready, and, to tell Steve I knew someone who needed a friend, and, that Steve could be that friend. Steve was excited. He asked me what his new friend’s name was. I said it was Teddy. He kept asking when he was going to meet Teddy. What was Teddy like? Would Teddy like him? Did Teddy have any friends?
The very next day, all arrangments made, I told Steve I was going to get Teddy. Steve couldn’t wait to meet him. I prayed Steve wouldn’t be disappointed to find out Teddy was a dog, not a person.
Now, Teddy and I are on our way home. Steve waits. I pray. We arrive. I walk Teddy to the door. We enter the house. Steve’s in the living room in his special recliner.
“Steve,” I call out. “I’m bringing Teddy in to meet you!”
I was a bit nervous. Teddy was the perfect gentleman. As we walked past the stairway and over the red carpeted living room floor, I said,
”Steve, meet Teddy! Teddy meet Steve!
Teddy immediately jumped on Steve’s lap and started to lick his face. Steve’s smile was as bright as a full moon. He was glowing. Tears ran down my cheeks.
“Teddy’s a dog!” Steve replied. “My own dog! I love you Teddy! You’re my best friend! Teddy, my dog!”
Indeed, Teddy could relate to Steve even with all of Steve’s disabilities getting worse as the days, weeks, and years went on. Finally, at age 13, Teddy died of congestive heart failure. Steve’s condition continued to worsen until finally Steve, too, passed away.
Deep in my heart, I know they met at the “Rainbow Bridge” and, I can still hear Steve say, “I love you Teddy! You’re my best friend! Teddy, my dog!”
P.S. This is a true story.