My boys couldn’t have asked for better best friends than their dogs. We’ve had two dogs in the timeframe that we’ve had kids – Callie and Hondo. It’s been heartwarming to see the connections the boys have with their furry co-conspirators.
Each dog developed a different relationship with them. We had Callie before our first child was born. From the moment JD came home, Callie claimed him as her own. She did the same with Sammy. They were her boys. Callie went to their rooms any time the babies would so much as squeak and check on them, then come stare at me. “Go get my baby. He needs me.”
She was a constant guard, always by their sides, present.
When Callie got older, I wanted to buffer the inevitable loss – I brought home the lunker of a furball we would name Hondo. When Callie passed away, each boy handled it differently, driven by their own innate personalities.
JD laid quietly beside her during the last hours, showing his devotion by putting aside his sadness to stay with her, his hand resting on her shoulders, fingers moving through her fur reflexively.
Sammy just wanted to keep her memory alive, talking about her often, sharing memories with fondness reflected in his eyes and gratitude in his smile. Nearly two years later, he still regales with tales of what he loved about her. Just the other day he asked if I could print a picture of her that he could hang in his locker at school – never to be forgotten.
Now I get to watch them form a new type of bond with Hondo. Where Callie was their mom, Hondo is their best friend. He’s playful, taunting, hilarious, and teases the same out of the boys. They’ve spent hours on the trampoline, bouncing together, Hondo just as excited by the play as his boys. The pup relates to each of them differently, takes a different tone with JD than with Sammy, has different conversations with them. There’s no doubt, however, that he’s their best friend.
Oh, and he LOVES being loved on. When anyone pets him, he melts into them, closing his eyes, sliding to the floor. "He melted Mom..." The boys can lie beside him, on top of him, around him. He's plum tickled, regardless. He's brought more love to our family than we could have imagined.
There’s nothing quite as strong as the bond between dogs and their boys.