The Best Friend I ever had
Fred was a Buff Cocker Spaniel who came to live with me when he was only 12 weeks old. I hadn't been out of the Army that long and I was still dealing with a lot of internal issues. I was pretty antisocial and drinking a bit too much. My sister had purchased him as a pet for her kids, but her Landlord said he had to go, and the pet shop wouldn't take him back.
So he ended up with me, and we had 16 years of friendship that I would never trade for anything. I've only been married for 10, so to say our bond was the longest running, outside of any with my immediate family, that I ever had, would be absolutely true.
My wife and I presently have 3 cockers, all female, Ethel, Lucy, and Sally. I love them dearly, but they are not my Buddy-dog, Fred.
Fred never lied to me, betrayed me, or stole from me, although he did occasionally devour a shoe. He always greeted me at the door, and he always barked when people who were up to no good were prowling. He liked to climb up on the bed and sleep on my feet.
Today, for some strange reason, I miss Fred. Maybe it is the stress of the campaign, maybe it's just because, but Today, I miss Fred. I wouldn't mind having him lick my face just one more time, and I'm sure he wouldn't mind my scratching his belly. It is a small pleasure that I miss.