Better watch out!" the man warned. "He'll getcha!" Go easy with him, I told myself. I knelt and reached out again, slowly this time, talking softly. Dogs need reassurance as much as people do, sometimes more.
My mother had bought the toy for Jason when he was first diagnosed. He was handmade with felt eyes, nose and mouth, perpetually smiling. Big Jon went with him to every doctor's appointment, slept with him in every hospital bed. He offered so much more than security.
I dreamed of becoming an All-American hero. I just didn't know how I was going to get there. I had no real job skills, and hadn't done well enough in school to earn a college scholarship. Maybe that was why a commercial I saw about the Army intrigued me.
Long before Ronald Reagan started the tradition of leaving a note behind in the Oval Office for the next President of the United States, my dad left a letter in my desk drawer when he stepped down as president. That was way back in 1964.