Spring was early and the kids began to spend more time in the yard as the sun warmed the days and teased at our cabin fever. After a long day I arrived home to find Tiercy swinging on the swing set with a big smile as she yelled “Hi Daddy”! I loved hearing those words and playfully ran to greet her as she leaped from the swing and skipped towards me. Then there he was again, that discolored four legged creature who I had run off in the past. I rushed to pick Tiercy up and save her from this vicious threat and began yelling and looking for rocks or sticks to throw. Tiercy began yelling too, but in a different direction, “Daddy don’t yell at Darrel, he’s a good dog”. “Oh Tiercy, he’s a stray and might hurt you kids!” I charmed. “No Daddy, he’s my friend and I’ve been feeding him.” After questioning Tiercy about her “friend” and much debate we decided to accept this new addition into our lives. He wasn’t going to win any dog shows with his lack of a tail and his muckelty coat but as the years passed we discovered that his loyalty to the protection of our family and home more than made up for all those imperfections.
Darrel was by far the best dog “friend” our family has accepted into our lives and in time became my companion when I took the pickup to town for a treat at the local gas station. All the locals would throw treats into the back of the pickup but knew not to get to close, as Darrel would show his determination to protect my pickup. He would spend countless hours with me as I painted the murals in town and would protect the paint and brushes in the back of the pickup.
How did I make such a mistake in the beginning to have thought this wonderful creature could have brought danger to my family. I think of Darrel often and as our family “remembers when”, Darrel is always the story that brings smiles and joy to our conversations.
Darrel passed away a few years back but is still a constant reminder to us that true friends are a rare occurrence in a world that judges others first by looks.
How wonderful would our lives be if all the world judged first by what lies inside the heart and soul and saw the imperfections of the visual as decorations of God.
Sharing the Journey