I was touched by the fact that all these years later this marker remained. Needless to say I placed the marker front and center in the very first garden I planted in our new backyard. Over the years I would point out the marker to visitors and tell the story of how I came across it - all the time wondering which owner before me placed the marker, picturing in my mind this pet running about in the fenced-in backyard.
No less than five fabulous dogs, two capricious cats and a French eared rabbit have called this backyard home. They gave love and were loved back tenfold. One continues to dish out joy on a daily basis. In this lovely fenced-in yard right next to the flower garden with the marker there rests seven beloved pets - four dogs, two cats and one rabbit.
As I offered my condolences a few weeks back to our editor, Ellen Leahy, on the passing of her dear little Grace, I couldn't help but think of the wonderful times I shared with those animals that rest in our garden, the moments I had with them at home alone
- just 'mom and a furry friend'.
I went out and stood by the garden - I thought of Ellen and how she spoke of her 'Amazing Grace' and I remembered the dear friends I had buried there. Just then Odie O'Doul pulled up alongside of me and sat by my foot. I looked down at him and read out loud to him the words scratched out over 60 years ago -
More Than Just a Dog
And that is, indeed, the truth. So there!
Carolann McLoughlin, a writer and editor from New Jersey with a home on Skaneateles Lake, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.