On arriving in Atlanta to visit the Holders, we learned some very sad news. The family dog, Napoleon, passed away many months earlier in the year.
When we walked into the house, Liz’s dad led us through the kitchen and out the back door to look at his deck. The way he opened the door (leaving it open and letting the screen door slowly close behind you) was something I noticed. If you have indoor pets, you open/close doors deliberately and quickly, for fear that your pets will slip out unintentionally. The way he walked outside, I worried something was wrong with Napoleon – and a few minutes later, we learned of his passing.
This year marks the first year I’ve celebrated an early Christmas with the Holders without Napoleon present.
When I first travelled to meet the Holders in Kansas City, I was incredibly nervous. I was just the boyfriend at the time, and soon after we arrived… the Holders had a holiday party in their house, with friends and neighbors in attendance. I tried to make smalltalk where I could, but whenever I felt awkward or out of place… I’d stroll on over by Napoleon, and pet him for a while. It was comforting to know that I could always go just over and hang out with Napoleon, whenever I needed a break.
Looking back, I found several photos of him over the years. I only knew him for a short time, but he was a great dog. Napoleon, conqueror of nations.
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