Until a month ago Brady lived just a few doors down from us. He and Duncan became good friends and it was Duncan who inspired Brady to finally adopt his own dog, Roxie, a couple of years ago. Even though we haven't seen them since they moved in March, Duncan has stopped on every walk to stare up at Brady's old balcony, waiting for an appearance by Roxie or the cat, Fatty or his Uncle Brady who likes to call down to him, "Duncadunc!" Sometimes if I'm lagging behind he'll trot up the stairs and sit patiently in front of Brady's door and just wait, not moving except to wag his tail.
And that's what he did tonight so I called Brady and asked if I could bring Roo over for a quick visit. "Do you want to go see Uncle Brady?" I asked and watched as Dunc charged across the parking lot to Brady's old building, marched up the stairs and plopped down in front of the door. It took some coaxing to get him back downstairs and loaded into the car, and then once we were on our way he whined the entire drive, unsure of what was happening, why I'd mentioned Brady, and where we were going. But once we were there and Duncan figured out who we'd come to see his joy couldn't be contained.
He ran through their townhouse, dragging his leash behind as he investigated the kitchen, the bathroom, the tiny basement, all the bedrooms, and then finally the backyard where he got to play ball with Brady and Roxie, barking loudly whenever there was a lull in the game. Dee, Brady's girlfriend, and I sat on the patio and watched them cavort, smiling at how happy they were to see each other. Even Roxie, who has been known to get a bit territorial, didn't mind his presence, and when she wasn't following him around, was busy sneaking treats from me.
I am not good at getting away from home as often as I should. I am a creature of habit who is very aware of his comfort zones. Brady and I both struggle with anxiety and have helped each other through dark periods more times than I could count. We have leaned on each other when it seemed there was no one else to lean on and I have missed him terribly these last four weeks. But despite that I haven't driven the six minutes it takes to see him until today, and that was because of Duncan, who always seems to know what is best for me, what I need to lift my spirits, what will lighten my heart. It is good to have a dog who knows who the good people are in my life, and cherishes them as much as I do.