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Love at First Sight a Memory

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It was a hot humid day in the beginning of July. Not hot like NYC urban, heat island hot, but for the Berkshires, it was incredibly sticky and the heat was horribly oppressive. Pacing inside my icy cold, air-conditioned home, I awaited the arrival of one of my lifelong dreams. I remember this dream from the time I was a very young girl in elementary school. I cannot remember what triggered it or gave me the idea but it had become so implanted in my head I always felt lost without that dream in my life.

I had hired a driver to pick him up at his current home way up north in Vermont and drive him to come meet me. They were supposed to arrive at about five o’ clock and it was almost four. I had no idea what else I was going to do with myself waiting for another hour to pass. I was so anxious I don’t even remember speaking with my family for the last few hours as they all sat in anticipation in the living room. I had cleaned the whole house, done the dishes, the laundry and vacuumed, swept and mopped the floors, not because I wanted a clean house for his arrival, but because I was so nervous I had to find things to keep me occupied. If I sat down for even a split second I became so anxious I would jump up off the couch and find something else to clean or straighten out.

Suddenly over the dull sound of a faraway lawn mower I heard the engine of a truck, breaks slightly squealing and the sound of tires coming to a stop in the sand riddled street beside my house. They had arrived! Their arrival was at least an hour early and I hadn’t had nearly enough time to pace as I had planned on. It had been a week since the plans of this day had been solidified, since I had made all of the arrangements for us to meet face to face. I stopped pacing just long enough to think about how this was the first time I would meet him in person. The first time he would lay his eyes on me. What if’s, were plentiful. What if the feelings just weren’t there? What if he didn’t like me? What if I didn’t like him?

My heart started pounding faster in anticipation as I opened my door. First the inside door leaving only the screen door between me and my dream, through that screen door, my senses were bombarded with the brightness of the sun, the feel of the muggy air on my skin and the smell of freshly cut grass. In what must have been only a second or two, my mind started racing in all directions. What if being taken from his father at such a young age, by a stranger no less and traveling 4 hours from Vermont to my home was too traumatic for him? What if he was homesick? Carsick? Wanted nothing to do with me?

I rushed down the porch steps to the cracked and broken walkway. I walked briskly, trying not to run and as I turned the bend, I stopped dead in my tracks. There stood a figure of a whopping 135 pounds, with legs that seemed too long and skinny to support his enormous body. He had a peculiar bump underneath the hair on top of his head.   It was almost egg like in shape and rather comical looking.  He let out a big yawn and on the underside of his tongue was an almost heart shaped black mark. How odd I thought, why would he have black on his tongue? Some kind of birthmark? Sure I had seen photos of him, but not close-ups, therefore I was a little surprised by some of his features.

The man that delivered him pointed out the bump on his head and proceeded to say how he was like that when he picked him up. I assured him that I understood and have seen something similar before, in others like him. I wondered how someone so goofy looking could also look so regal and confident at the same time. He truly looked like the teen that he was.

For a few brief moments there was nobody in the world but him and myself, I heard nor saw anything but him. His brown eyes so caring and welcoming as he took me in for a moment and then ran up to me. I hugged him close and never wanted to let go. I knew in my heart that this was love at first sight and that he was my soul mate. My family then joined in to welcome our newest family member.

Two weeks after his arrival my husband traveled to British Columbia, Canada for ten days. While he was gone, my goofy teenage soul mate sat by my side on the couch, went for long walks through the neighborhood with me and slept next to me in our bed. The bond grew stronger every day and I had never felt such love like this before. He was actually supposed to be my husband’s companion but his absence gave him and I time to bond closer than I had ever bonded with anyone else before. Sure he loves the rest of the family enthusiastically but he has a special place in his heart just for me and I for him.

I had first saw a photograph of this special boy on the internet. I had been scouring the internet and for months to find a special companion to rescue and when I read his story and saw the tan fur and his face, with the black mask and big floppy ears, I just knew he was the one.

My dream had always been to have the opportunity to be owned by a dog that was so tall that I never had to bend down to pet him or pat him on the head.   A dog that was so grand in size that everyone had to look twice to see if he was a dog or a pony. Yes, I have heard every joke in the world about the size of my new companion and still do to this day. While I sometimes roll my eyes at the old jokes, the people saying them are happy, if just for a moment and I am glad Otis can provide happiness to others.

Yes, his name is Otis, that was his original given name and I chose to not change it. He is not named after the town of Otis, that much I do know. That was four years ago in July and he has grown out of his goofy teenage look and is actually graying already as the lifespan of Great Danes and English Mastiff are about seven years and he is a cross of those two breeds. We just celebrated his fifth birthday on August 29th.

Memories sigh, one of my lifelong dreams had finally come true.

I just found this on my computer while searching for photos of Otis.  I wrote this in my college English class back in 2013 when Otis was 5.


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