Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Meeting Ash

with 2 comments

A gray, chilly, rainy day that started out somber ended on a much happier note. Cyndie and I took care of the horses early yesterday and then dressed up and drove off for Fort Snelling National Cemetery to join her family at the memorial service for her uncle, Jon Brolin. It was a first for me. I had driven past the cemetery many times but never been amidst the rows upon rows of repeating identical headstones. That alone is a powerful thing.

In what felt like a scene in a movie, we stood protected from the spitting rain beneath a gazebo roof as veterans performed the rituals of saluting, gunshots, the mournful sound of taps, and the excruciatingly precise folding of the U.S. flag.

“On behalf of a grateful nation…”

Jon was a Marine who served during the Korean War.

After a precious few hours with the family at the reception following the service, Cyndie and I set off on a new adventure. We were going to meet a Shepherd Mix named, Ash who is just over a year old and currently being fostered in Stillwater, MN.

Last week, Cyndie asked me why I didn’t want to get another dog. I think I probably talked for three minutes straight listing all the reasons I could think of against owning a dog again at this time. She listened patiently to everything I said and politely acknowledged all my points. Then she told me, with her voice breaking in grief over her still raw emotions over Delilah’s passing, why she felt the need for the companionship of another loving canine.

In fact, she had found a Shepherd Mix pup that was up for adoption from the rescue organization where we had donated food after Delilah’s death. Ash needed a forever home. Cyndie read me the details about Ash, including a description of him that had been written by the foster mom. There wasn’t a single thing that I found concerning.

At that moment, all of the reasons I had articulated seconds earlier about not having a dog melted away.

I wanted to meet Ash.

We weren’t disappointed. Ash was everything we expected.

I think we can give Ash the home he deserves with the parenting he needs and years of companionship from which we all will benefit.

Since Cyndie had recruited coverage for our horses for the rest of the day, we took advantage of the freedom to have dinner at a Stillwater restaurant after we visited Ash at his foster home. After a quick phone search of options, Cyndie selected MatchStick Restaurant & Spirits. What a treat! Every bite was a delight of fabulous flavors, including the best cedar-plank salmon I ever tasted and the most enjoyable caramelized Brussel sprouts in a Thai peanut sauce.

While we were luxuriating in the pleasures of fantastic food, we pondered the fact that Cyndie noticed a car in front of us on our drive to Fort Snelling with “ASH” on its license plate, after which we found ourselves sprinkling flower petals over the urns of her aunt and uncle’s ashes.

We feel like bringing this endearing pup into our lives is what we are going to do.




2 Responses

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  1. Ash is adorable! And what a perfect name after all you’ve been through


    April 29, 2023 at 2:34 pm

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