|Could have been Pat . . .|
Pat was a mixed breed, bit-of-everything, tour-of-the-world-on-four-feet breed of dog.
Shirley’s family belonged to him.
Allow me a couple of illustrations.
- Shirley and her family lived in a small town in Alberta.
They went to school near where they lived.
But Shirley’s parents were determined that their children be raised with music.
Lessons were offered in a church in another part of town.
Beyond the school.
Once a week, on Monday afternoons, they would walk directly to the church after school, rather than stop at home first.
It just made sense.
Immediately after the close of the school day, the three of them would head out for their weekly lesson.
Surrounded by other children intent on their own afternoon assignments and activities.
In short order, they were at the church.
Then it was time to go home.
And this is where Pat came in.
Whenever they opened the church door, there would be their faithful companion, waiting to escort them home.
He never showed up at the school, when there were other children about.
He waited until his kids were ready for the long walk back to the house after lessons.
And he did this every Monday.
Occasionally, when there was no school, and by association, no lessons, Pat would sit vainly in front of an empty church.
Then, finally working it through his doggy brain that there was no sound emanating from the building, and no kids exiting, he would head home.
The very best and most attentive of escorts.
- Shirley’s family was planning a summer holiday.
Two weeks of fun.
But someone must be found to care for their beloved Pat while they were away.
A neighbor on a nearby farm offered.
Shirley’s Dad packed their faithful dog up and carted him off to the farm for two weeks of chicken-chasing and fun with the resident dogs.
Leaving him happily cared for, her Dad headed back into town.
The family packed up the car and pulled into the road.
And there was Pat. Heading for home as fast as his legs could carry him.
Holiday over, he was ready to rejoin his family.
See what I said about responsibilities?
Every family needs a Pat.