There was a time, before this blog, before Facebook even (can you remember such a time? I barely can) when I spent a summer fostering two puppies. Those puppies were Sally’s healthy brother and sister.

Duncan Heinz and Sophie, as they came to be known, were amazing puppies. They didn’t have perfect gut health – surrendered young and laden with parasites I remember fussing with food for them. Timing, amounts, and what to feed all took brain space that summer. What didn’t take any space at all? Teaching them to be loving happy companions. They were without a doubt two of the most delightfully cheerful dogs we had ever fostered.

Sally got to agility with Sophie and spend time on the farm with Duncan. Lucky Sally.

I don’t honestly recall a lot of detail about that summer. It was peaceful, beautiful and easy. The puppies started housetraining on schedule and learned to love to play – toy and personal play were our focus. It fairly quickly became apparent that Duncan Heinz wanted to be a couch potato. Sophie wanted to DO stuff. But both were game even as young dogs to do what we wanted to do. Run around and be crazy? Sure thing. Be chill and let the world get a head start on a lazy Sunday morning? No worries.

I knew, without any reservation at all that whoever adopted these dogs was in for a treat. If I could have I would have adopted both of them, one of them, either of them myself. But we were full … we had Hank and Brody and Thea. And Brody didn’t like puppies.

Duncan. The lab of the family.

What to do? Strong arm convince my friends turned out to be the answer. Both puppies stayed in my extended family and I spent over a decade stalking them on FB and getting hands-on love at various points. Sally’s brother Duncan died last fall and her sister Sophie recently passed away. You can cry a lot of tears for dogs you don’t live with sometimes.

I’ve been watching videos and browsing photos and wondering how Sally is the survivor of her family. And worrying about her, the way one does. And wishing as Sophie’s human suggested, that I could roll back time.

But, and I suppose that’s a mixed blessing of grief. The love, and memories do roll back time.

They were really good dogs. I miss them both more than you’d think. They had lives well, and joyfully, lived. Inspirational souls doing their bit to make the world a better place. I’ll aspire to channel my inner Duncan and Sophie this week and see what I can add to the world in their memory.