This meme reminded me of a story in I Chose You. People ask me all the time about my favorite story from the book. I don’t have one, I truly don’t. But I do have several that really tug at my heart. Maybe it’s because I know the person who shared this with me, but this always makes me cry a little.

Paw Prints on the Glass

“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.” — Charles de Gaulle

I have a friend who lost her long-time best buddy. He lived for nearly eighteen years, and she is devastated. She told me that she dated a few losers, got married, divorced, and finally found the guy of her dreams.

Her guy was different than any she had spent time with in the past. He was loyal, quiet, and loved his routine. He was by far the most hand- some suitor she had ever had. She was smitten. He also had four legs.

My friend decided that the only man she needed in her life was her dog. He listened to her, made her exercise even when she didn’t feel like being out, didn’t argue, appreciated the meals she gave him, smothered her with great hugs and kisses, and kept her warm on those cold, winter nights.

He had one bad habit. She would let him out first thing in the morn- ing and right before bedtime for his first and last potty breaks. When he was finished, he’d stand at the door and press his snout against the glass. If my friend didn’t let him in right away, he’d slobber on the door and bark and wait for her to come and let him in.

Every few days she’d grumble and clean the glass and ask him to please stop messing up the clean door. But every day, her otherwise perfect boy would slobber and leave pawprints on her door, and the cycle continued.

Last week my friend had to make the horrible decision to let her dog live pain-free wherever dogs go when they have used up their earth suits.

She donated bags of food and treats to her local rescue shelter, put the toys in the closet, moved his crate to the garage, and started living without the best guy she’d ever had in her life.

A couple of days later, she pulled out the glass cleaner and paper towels and went out to remove the last traces of her dog. That’s when it hit her. Once the glass was clean, it would never again be filled with pawprints or slobber to remind her that, for eighteen years, she’d had the best dog in the world.
She put away the cleaning supplies. One day when she’s ready she’ll adopt another guy and clean the door so her new buddy can leave his mark on her house and her heart.