This is Lulu. She is one of the lake dogs that my family “borrows” each summer when we go on our Adirondack vacation. For us, she is a Dream Dog.
We see her every morning. She’s either sitting on the deck behind the cottage where we stay, her fur still wet from her first lake swim. Or she’s streaking after the golf cart that her owner uses to travel the short distance from his house down to the lake.
Because she’s not OUR dog, we don’t have the responsibilities of taking care of her. But. What we do is choose to accept Lulu’s invitation: the-come-and-play-with-me-because-what-else-should-we-be-doing-on-this-glorious-summer-day?
Most of those mornings, we take her up on that offer. Because that invitation satisfies our feelings of missing our dogs and resonates with the inner child hidden inside us — the part of us that wants to escape the trappings of being an adult.
Because it’s fun to play. No matter how old you are.
Dream dogs start out as flesh-and-blood dogs that usually belong to someone else. Like Lulu. Or like Lollypop.
Lollypop lives across the street from us. She is a Dream Come True Dog for the family that brought her home. They waited five years before they went looking for her. Five years is a long time to be without a dog if you’ve ever had a heart dog.
Which this family had. And, because they had a heart dog, they wanted to wait until the timing was right for their next dog. They looked around during that five year period, but they didn’t choose.
They settled for having the dream of their next dog knowing that if they did that, when the right dog for them came along, they would recognize it.
And, that’s what I think Chickpea was for my son. His first Dream Dog. Because when he went to Lollypop Farm yesterday to walk dogs, she was gone.
When he asked, one of the staff members told him that she had been adopted … within hours after he and I had gone out to see her … just four days ago.
My son doesn’t know where she went nor does he know any details about the family that adopted her. That’s probably for the best.
What he knows are all of the things that made Chickpea special to him. She liked to play and she was easy around other dogs. She was a good physical size for him – not too big, not too small. Just the right size to be a good trail dog.
He liked what Chickpea looked like – she had that silly, goofy look on her face typical of Pit Bull Terriers. And, he didn’t think that there was something wrong with her because she only had three legs.
More than all of this, Chickpea touched my son’s heart. And, when she did that, she became a Dream Dog. Because that’s what Dream Dogs do. They pull us in; invite us to step outside of ourselves. They say, “Pay attention to me. Pay attention to what WE can do and be together.”
Not everybody gets a Dream Dog. Because not everybody knows to look for one. Those of us who have had our share of Dream Dogs understand that in our lifetimes, if we’re lucky, some Dream Dogs will find us.
Now my son is one of the lucky ones. Because he knows what to look for. All he has to do is wait.