By Patricia Roop Hollinger
“Juno, give me a paw.”
Juno gave Brayden a paw.
“Juno, give me a high-five.”
Yep! Juno could do that one also.
Who is this Juno, you wonder? He is a keeshond that my great-grandson, Brayden, recently became the proud owner of. Juno is a wiggly, snuggly, loving ball of gray fur that no one could resist in spite of wet sloppy licks on the face. Love in its purest form.
Brayden’s Oma, Beate, shared her love of cats and dogs with Brayden when he arrived from the womb. It is evident that he and his pets speak the same language. The language of love pure and simple.
Juno is just another great-grandchild for me, as is Brayden. “No,” I do not object to revealing that I have entered into the realm of great grandparenthood. It is a privilege and honor. Especially when folks tell me: “But you don’t look old enough to be a great-grandmother.”
Brayden’s grandfather, Michael, was my son who was also a lover of a keeshond named Dogen. They were inseparable. Especially when Michael suffered from chronic pain from a work related injury. Dogen was the most potent medication for pain relief during that saga.
Brayden was born 2007 and Michael died 2009; thus memories are mostly through stories and photos of the grandfather who would have loved to have known him.
The reader can only imagine my delight when I saw photos on Facebook of Brayden and Juno eyeing each other lovingly when they met at the BWI airport. I knew then that Michael had a spiritual hand in this occurrence. Thus, my delight when I met Juno and Brayden luxuriating in their delight with each other. Michael had joined us in a most profound way.
Today I found a photo of Michael with Dogen and mailed it to Brayden with the following words:
“Brayden, your granddad Michael with his keeshond Dogen,
Greets you with this loving slogan.
He wants you to know he watches you and Juno.
It makes him so happy that is makes him just glow.
Your missing front tooth, Yep! He knows about that too,
that you count to 100….and play T-ball;
there isn’t much he doesn’t know about you.
Give Mom and Dad some hugs and kisses,
For being with them he so much misses.”
Patricia Roop Hollinger is a retired Chaplain/Pastoral Counselor/LCPC after employment at Brook Lane Health Services, a mental health facility, after 23 years. Lover of nature, gardening, cats. Pursuing her love of reading and writing since retirement.