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Captain was his name, and he found his forever home with us around 7 years ago. He wasn’t supposed to come home with us, but he was Clover’s best friend, and we’d already fallen in love with her. He was a big, goofy mutt, scared of everything and scrawny from a case of worms. He didn’t want to exit his crate at first. I think he wanted to leave with his foster mom, and even after living with us for years he would find a truck in a parking lot that looked like hers and stubbornly sit next to it.

He warmed to us, especially my wife, after a while. She would always be his favorite, which wasn’t always convenient when he wanted to go out in the middle of the night or share somebody’s pillow on the bed. He was happiest when she was home, sometimes whining when she left to run errands. He found it within his power to put up with the rest of us somehow.

Captain feared nearly everything except things that frighten other dogs. Thunderstorms and the vacuum cleaner are two good examples. While we all hunkered down in a hallway during a tornado one spring, we could tell he wanted to go outside into the driving rain to investigate all the ruckus. He was so submissive, we had to stand watch while he ate to make sure our cat didn’t steal food from his bowl, but he would bark at neighbor dogs with his hackles raised, even though he wagged his tail the whole time.


He wasn’t overly affectionate, but I know he appreciated our affections. When I offered hugs, he would gallop to wherever I was and stand there to be embraced, wagging his nub of a tail and smiling his lopsided grin. He would certainly kiss us with his horrible breath and giant tongue. I didn’t think I could ever miss that, but I do.

I like to believe that our beloved pets will be reunited with us when we die. It swells my heart to picture Captain free of fear and surrounded by all the pets I loved in life. There they pass the time with the family and friends I’ve lost over the years, waiting until I come to see them one day. I can’t think of a better way to spend forever.

I’m immensely thankful that Captain entered our lives. We have C.A.R.E for Animals of Raleigh, an amazing organization of committed and kind individuals, to thank for that. They rescued Captain and his family from a life of fear and starvation, as they’ve done for many animals over the years. I know they would love your support if you feel you can help them.