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Lassie and Patches
by: Mary-Ellen Grisham, Source Unknown

For several weeks, my family and I took care of two homeless dogs: Lassie, a Shetland collie, and her son, a pup named Patches. Because we were unable to keep them permanently, I advertised in a local newspaper offering the dogs free to a good home.

Soon a man who had just lost his own Shelty showed up in our backyard. He was offering a good home and a large yard. He and Lassie took to each other immediately.

At the point of decision, Lassie stood hovering on the patio, looking to me to see what I would do. The dear dog sensed my anguish, but I knew I had to let go. On my word, Lassie turned, went toward the new owner, and nuzzled Patches along. Patches did not want to go and kept returning to me with what I call that sweet puppy grin. Only love made it possible to let them go. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made, and we sent all of their new things with them.

As they drove away in the back of the truck, Lassie turned only once. I blew her a kiss as I had so many times before. Then tucked under the arm of the delighted new owner, she rounded the corner. On the light breeze, I could hear the man laughing, telling Patches that he was a rascal and that should be his new name. With tears running down my face, I gave thanks that Lassie could finally go home. The Alaskan wolf dogs next door howled their sympathy for the loss of my dogs every morning that week. It was a comfort I could understand.

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