courage · dogs · love · relationship

They Could Have Been Real

Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash

They could have been real.
That would have been something, right?
Shocked themselves happy.


Who’s to say what’s a happy ending?

You are.

Where you go, what you do, where you wind up and what you get to remember when you cannot get up and go any longer?

You choose.

You choose what you live, what story you tell yourself — all the way to how the story ends.

Diagnosis, tragedy, triumph, unexpected abundance, and inexplicable events are material for you to shape into the story you tell about yourself and your life.


She made her decision, for all the right reasons and with her friends complete approval. He did his best to change her mind, but she was adamant, arms folded and face turned away. It’s time to go our own ways, she said. Finally, he agreed, tears welling as he scratched the special place behind the dog’s ears. The door closed behind him.

She scratched the special place under the dog’s collar. Whispered, we’re better off without him.

The dog raised its chin for a better angle. He knew the truth.

For the next week, he sniffed at the big man’s place on the couch, mourned at the window where he’d watch them come back to him, and waited hopeless in the kitchen for treats and belly rubs.

The dog listened to the chatter that filled their house: better off without, not good enough for you, and there’s someone even better out there.

He’d shuffle out of the room, winding through the bottles and empty pizza boxes, knowing the truth and unable to do anything about it.

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