Hard Softies

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”― Will Rogers

Over the course of my many careers, I have had the honor of serving alongside those who have “been there and done that”, men and women who have stepped up, often in the face of brutal, horrifying circumstances, and did what needed to be done, with no regard for their own safety.

These men and women have come in all sizes, shapes, and personalities, but each one of them has shown a solid core, a hardness, that comes through when needed.

Another pervasive feature is that nearly all of them have, or have had, a canine companion that touched their soul.

It may have been their personal companion or a working animal that was by their side during every shift, but in every case, there was a deep bond, a connection, that only got stronger.

And then their companion dies.

It may be an accident, sickness, old age, or line-of-duty, but in each case, the loss is real and painful.

And when to talk to these hard, stoic men and women about the loss of their companion, no matter how long ago it happened, you see their composure weaken, their features soften, and their eyes mist up when they speak of it.

...And This Is Why We Drink™

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