I don’t know where to start. Seriously, I’ve been staring at this first sentence for the past hour. My heart hurts. There are so many things in life that I cannot change. Jack and Oliver are part of that. Jack and Oliver, the homeless man and his dog who are together in Jack’s hospital room. Together because the wonderful nursing team decided that it was the right thing to do. I saw them again today, and in so many ways, I almost want to move into that room with them. You have no idea how much I love them.
If you could see these two, oh man, your heart would burst. The moment I walked in I found Oliver curled up on his bed. That’s the ginormous bed that you helped us get for him because he had no bed of his own.
Granted, Oliver was not shy about sharing Jack’s bed, but the guy has lines and tubes and he deserves some bed of his own. So it took Oliver a day or two to understand the new bed was HIS BED, and from that moment on, that’s been his place to hang. And from what I hear, he loves it.
The moment I walked in he began to squeal. You know the squeal, it’s the sound we all dream of. Part purr, part Ella Fitzgerald, part Joni Mitchell. And that’s before he even saw I had a new bag of food, more treats, and a soft little baby for him to cuddle. After a quick greeting to Jack, I was on the floor with Oliver. I think I massaged every part of that giant body of his, even some little tickles on his tongue. I had the best time ever.
But maybe the biggest bonus of the day was that Jack finally opened up a little bit. He’s still pretty careful with his words, so if you’re expecting a long story, he’s not your guy. But the few words he did share was a step in the right direction. And the third time I asked him if there’s anything at all that he needed, he finally said yes, maybe there was. What is it, I’m wondering, anything, just tell me and I’ll get it.
A new coat.
His current coat is battered and its heavy and when it gets wet it’s too waterlogged for him to wear. The days are getting a bit warmer, so he thought maybe a lighter weight coat would be nice. Seriously, that’s what he asked for. He rubbed the genie bottle and his wish was for a coat. Nothing fancy, color doesn’t matter. Just something he could wear outside with Oliver.
Was there anything else? Anything? Anything at all?
I kept hinting at different things and then he looked at my sweatshirt and said maybe a sweatshirt would be nice too, maybe he could wear that when he didn’t need the coat. A coat and a sweatshirt. No color preferences. No fancy brand. Just a basic coat and a sweatshirt.
It was a start.
And that’s why very soon I’ll be out shopping to buy Jack what may be the first new coat and new sweatshirt he’s had in years. I don’t know why, but I’m a bit nervous.
And I’m honored more than you know.
Being there for Jack and Oliver.
And this is why we Pongo.