I just finished reading the book Craig & Fred: A Marine, A Stray Dog, and How They Rescued Each Other, by Craig Grossi. I must admit, I am a sucker for books with a dog as one of the main characters. When the main character is a stray dog or a rescue dog, well then that is only better. Yes, I admit it, over a ten or eleven-year period I went from a dog lover to one of those “crazy dog” people who talks about their dog like it is one of their very own children, and it was all because of a big, goofy yellow lab named Sunny.
We adopted Jazz, which we changed to Sunny J., from a local lab rescue when he was about a year old. My wife and kids all say that the moment Sunny was brought into the room that they could tell that I had fallen in love. It didn’t hurt that Sunny had ran into the room and grabbed the leash that was still attached to our black lab Stormie’s collar and proceeded to lead him around the room. That day was the start of an almost immediate and long lasting best friends’ relationship between Sunny and I.
Sunny loved humans, and in his mind, all humans loved him. There were no strangers, just new friends to make. He didn’t just ask for human attention, he demanded it. Sit down on the ground to stretch or put on shoes, well you would quickly have an 80-pound lap dog sitting on your lap. Even in his old age, Sunny had amazing gentleness and patience with the grandchildren, and one of my favorite photos is Sunny and my grandson laying on the same big pillow taking a nap together.
We lost our beloved Sunny in May of 2017. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and how much happiness he brought to myself and those that were lucky enough to become his human friends. In the book Craig & Fred, the author makes the point of how in the middle of a war zone in Afghanistan a marine and a stray dog rescued each other. Having experienced Sunny’s loyalty, love and companionship for many years, I could understand what Craig was saying. At the end of the book I had two big thank yous in my heart. Thank you to the brave men and women of the US military that keep us free & safe and thank you to God for the gift of wonderful dogs like Sunny. I miss you buddy!!!