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The Yankee Express

Destined for a good life

By Amy LeClaire
I’ve yet to name the puppies I haven’t met yet. Lincoln has left a gape in our hearts, as is the case with the loss of any family member. Loss is loss. But the loss of a family pet, I’ve come to know, is unique. We not only lose a dog-son or dog-daughter, but also a full-time companion, therapist, clown, walking partner, driving partner, work buddy, and domestic assistant. Dogs, simply put, are just there, and there for you. A dog meets our basic human need for love, affection, security, connection, laughter, and friendship. They give us what matters the most in this life with one simple request asked in return.  Spend time with me. 
Lincoln adored people. He would rush to the front door to remind me of how important it is to say hello to the Go Green Man, even when my patience with outdoor solicitors had worn thin. “Someone is AT OUR HOUSE and he might want to PLAY!” He’d wiggle and glance up at me with a shoe in his mouth. “Hurry and open that door. This man looks so fun.” 
Lincoln was right. The salesman may have interrupted my 5:00 p.m. bustle and train of thought but I needed to cut him some slack. He has a hard job. How many rejections might this young man have already endured?  “Hello. My name is Bob.  I was wondering if you were interested in hearing—”
Lincoln made awkward situations pleasant. Professional dog trainers advise that dogs (reasonably) wait at their “spots” while the owner opens the door. A dog needs to learn salutary manners and know his boundaries. 
“Want to play a quick game of fetch? Hold on!” 
Lincoln was exceptional. He had to be the first to meet and greet. He learned manners by spending long happy and sad days together. He learned by watching his favorite people get along in this clumsy world. “Lincoln – you can have some eggs…” I’d tell him in a gentle, positive tone, “but you have to wait. You just have to wait.” I emphasized the key word as though holding up a flashcard for him. “Got it!” He sat patiently at his spot, lifted his nose to egg scented air, and waited. Every so often he’d break into that infectious Golden smile. “Damn, I got it good here.”  
Lincoln had it good because he was so damn good. He reminded me of how much there was to be joyful about. Like me, he wore rose-colored glasses and saw the very best in people and in situations. The puppies I’ve yet to meet will have it good as well. That said, will it be possible for my two pups to be as remarkable as Lincoln? I’m skeptical. In any event, their names will suit who they are, or perhaps who they are destined to be. Lincoln’s name emerged while looking at a pocket calendar to plan ahead for his pick-up date. We would bring home a Twin Beau’ D puppy on February 12. which happened to be Abraham LINCOLN’S birthday.  Truthfully, I can’t remember why I walked into the kitchen at times, but the memory of seeing Lincoln’s name in that booklet is as clear as the lake waters he would swim through over and over again. Like a message from a bottle, Lincoln’s name came and stayed. 
Later, we would learn that his name implies a connection to lakes and cliff climbing, both of which marked two prominent inspirations in his life. He would grow to be a remarkable long distance, stick-holding swimmer. At only six months old, he would climb up and fall off of a small cliff at Newport but he’d be okay. He was robust and resilient and he’d go on loving life until he no longer could. 
My family still awaits details on pregnancies and parents of puppies we’ve yet to meet in the spring of 2022. We haven’t decided on whether we’ll take two boys, or a boy and a girl (from the two different breeders for which we are enlisted) but we do know of a few names that we like. Though we are hesitant to share names publicly at this time, we hold them dearly in our hearts and want to thank all of you who have taken the time to share names with us! One thing is for sure, the puppies will have it good. Stay tuned for more on Living ON with Lincoln. 
Tell me a story about your dog’s name – [email protected]