It’s about 5 AM. Haven’t slept much, neither has my husband Jim. It’s the morning of his mother’s funeral service and there’s a brutal snow storm going on outside. We don’t know if one son and daughter-in-law will make it from California, last we heard they were stranded in the Dallas airport. Jim forgot his suit and pants and has only jeans and a sweatshirt. We are three hours away from home. I am worried about the dogs, cats and sheep, and my cell phone won’t work.
I make some tea in the motel’s sad little water heater, and turn on my iPad. As I often do, I click on the New York Times. I skim articles about politics–none seem relevant, as I’m in that strange, underwater state one is in when grieving and yet helping to organize the detritus of a death. I scroll down, and find an article titled: “The Blessing of a Rescue Dog,” by Margaret Renkl, a NYT Contributing Opinion Writer. I googled her name, and found a face that you just know has to be one of a dog lover.
The essay is exquisitely written, and immediately I am hooked. I no longer in an uncomfortable bed in a snow storm a few hours before my mother-in-law’s funeral. I am with Margaret’s Millie, described as “a cross between Groucho Marx and a dust mop. . .”.