A couple of days before the kids and I left on our trip, we brought a brand new puppy home. Bryce and I had been talking about this for years, and the right opportunity finally fell in our laps. She was an 8 week old female black lab, and we named her Penny. She was a puppy and she peed in our house, but she was cute as hell and we all loved her. Dawson was skeptical at first, but he came around after awhile. Penny followed him everywhere, and they slept together at night, curled up in a big black ball of fur.
And then Bryce was walking the dogs one day, one second she was there, and the next she was just gone. He looked for hours and hours, for days on end. Friends of ours looked. Signs were put up. Radio shows and animals shelters were called. But we are pretty sure that she was swept away in a fast moving river, and that little Penny just was not long for this world. It was a freak accident, and even though Bryce feels horrible, it wasn't anyone's fault.
Luckily for us, the kids only knew her for a few days, and it wasn't very traumatic for them. Porter cried a couple of times, but it was more just tears over a sad story than over the loss of a friend. Molly doesn't really understand. Bryce and I mostly just feel guilty.
And then, just this morning, I heard a story on the radio about a family hiking in Yosemite, and their six year old son who was carried away in a fast moving river, who is now presumed dead. Oh my God. The horror of that story made me realize (and I know Bryce is there too) that although our sad little story has been weighing heavily on our hearts, we really are the lucky ones. Hug your children (of all kinds) close. Life can change in an instant.
Rest in peace little Penny dog. You will be missed.