|Sweet and happy Simon on a walk.|
But as I tried to walk past the park, a sweet-looking dog ran up to the fence. Though he was very interested in meeting my dog, and she was just as interested in meeting him, I tried to remain outside. I told his owner all my fears, but she just smiled them off, assuring me everything would be fine — and something about Noreen convinced me to take Ripley inside to play with Simon.
That was not only cool, but one of the coolest things ever. Because we all fell in love that day: The dogs with each other, the humans with watching them play.
Immediately, Simon and Ripley began wrestling and chasing each other like they were already the best of friends. And they stayed the best of friends for the next 10 years.
|The day Simon and Ripley met.|
When Noreen and I learned we lived only two blocks from each other, we started hosting play dates in our back yards, where the dogs were free to run, wrestle and play the Ball Game without interruption from other dogs. Sometimes Ripley would get the ball out, but most of the time the dogs were happy just to lie there together, “making out,” for as long as us humans wanted to watch.
the next ten years, Noreen and I walked our dogs together many times a
week, so Simon and Ripley enjoyed hundreds of evening strolls together.
We also traded pet-sitting duties, with her making many a road trip
possible for my husband and me because of her volunteering to check on our cats. And those are just some of the countless good things created by that first play session in November of 2012.
I miss both Noreen and Simon, and am very sad that Ripley and Simon don’t get to see each other anymore. But I am so grateful for all the time we got to spend together, and cannot thank Noreen enough for convincing me to go into the dog park that first day.