June 3, 1970
As Nate and I got ready for this special day, we were both excited about welcoming someone new into our relationship. I was anticipating Nate’s happy expression when he met our new puppy, and Nate was pleased to know we would soon have our very own doggie.
Since it was the last week of school for me, and Nate’s classes had already ended, he came to Danville with me. My students were thrilled to meet “Mr. Nyman,” and he brought new energy to every part of our school day… especially on the playground as he pushed swings and spun the merry-go-round.
“I think he just has to be Toby,” I said, “since he’s a twin to Toby #1.”
“Not necessarily,” Nate said. “He might want his own special name.”
“Something powerful… like King or Duke.”
“But he’ll only be a medium-sized dog. Aren’t those names for big dogs?”
“I suppose. But we could scale it down and call him Prince or Baron.”
“Maybe,” I said. “But I bet when you see him, you’ll see a Toby #2.”
“There he is!” I said, pointing to our little guy.
When Nate reached in and lifted him up, his broad grin told me I’d picked the right one. “He’s so soft,” he said, stroking his back.
While he and “Toby” cuddled, I gave the other pups a little attention. My student’s mom watched us, probably grateful to find a home for at least one of their 8 dogs.
“Will our puppy suffer,” I said, “being taken away from his mother and siblings?”
“Oh no,” she said. “He’s ready to go. In a day or two he’ll forget all about them.”
“They’re so adorable,” I said. “I wish we could take them all.”
Nate’s head made a quick turn toward me when he heard that, and he said, “OK, let’s not get crazy now.” Then he paused. “But maybe we could take just one more?”
I couldn’t believe it! “Really? A second puppy?”
“It might be easier for them to adjust if they have a buddy.”
This was astounding… and the best idea ever!
It didn’t take long to choose a friend for our little guy, another black and white male. And as we drove back to Champaign, thrilled with our new babies, Nate summed it all up well. “Now we have Toby #2 and… the Baron!”
“For everything there is a season… a time to love.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1&8)