Kelly and Buddy were born in the spring of 1992; sister and brother. They entered our life one Saturday
afternoon when my wife and I decided to pop into a little pet shop that used to be open in the Houston
Galleria. They were two frisky little black and white Rat Terriers that couldn’t stop playing with each other.
Teace (my wife) and I thought our little home was more than big enough to bring this tag team home.
We commented that this would be a good trial run at being parents until the really big day when we would
bring home our own little bundle of joy that was half like Teace and half like me. For those who may not
know it, my wife is black. I mention it only because our two new little puppies were white with black spots
or black with white spots. I guess its how you look at it. They were a mix; just like Teace and I. What we
didn’t know, fifteen and a half years ago is, we never would be bringing home a baby of our own. The
only addition to our family was a Jack Russell named Wesley that joined our clan in 1994. From the start
Kelly always looked after her brother. There was almost this maternal instinct that she had towards him
that went beyond the fact that they were from the same litter. At night, Kelly would groom her brother by
licking his face and ears so he would always look presentable. They would always fall asleep in each other’s paws.
You hear a lot about how your pets are like your kids. That’s what Buddy, Kelly and Wesley
became for us. Two years ago, after months of dealing with congestive heart failure, we lost Buddy
while I was away on a business trip in New York. He passed away at our veterinarian’s clinic.
My wife called me on the phone in tears. Just like that, our family of five became a family of four. I don’t
think Kelly ever recovered from her brother just being gone one day. She would roam around almost in
a daze looking for the brother that never came back home. Wesley didn’t miss a step. If you asked him
where his brother Buddy was, he probably would say, ‘Buddy who?’
Each one went on in their own way. Kelly got stuck in the past waiting for Buddy to return and Wesley
steadfastly looked for the next adventure. While Wesley and Kelly never did forge a bond the way Kelly
did with her fraternal brother, they did eventually lean on each other when they both recognized
somebody was missing in their basket. Yesterday, I looked in the backyard to wave goodbye to my kids;
I found Wesley crouching next to the body of his lifeless sister. I opened the door to our backyard to
bring Wesley inside, shielding him away from the truth he had known before me.
With Wesley inside and my wife still asleep, I walked up to my little girl and said goodbye.
After a long while, I pulled myself together greeted by a happy Wesley expecting me to tell him that his
instincts were wrong and that he wasn’t the last one left behind.
I hugged him and he licked my face’¦he needed a breath mint.
Love comes into our lives in so many shapes and forms that we have to remember to stop, bend down,
and take our hugs and the licks that are sure to follow. It’s all apart of life. A life that’s forever changing.
Talk to you next time,