This virus that appears to be getting around the worldeven faster than you do, is going to make sure it is a very lonely Christmas for so many people.
Families and friends cannot be together as they would like. There will be no big gatherings around the table… and no families will come together to celebrate as they normally would all joys of the year.
And it is no good saying that there will be other years. Not everyone who should be, will be around to share another Christmas. Even my two-legs is on borrowed time and we didn’t even know if she would make it to this Christmas. (But now she is frantically baking…)
Lots of famlies have lost people this year… That is normal. We all lose those we love sometimes. Not all losses can be expected, though. Many pas too young, many fall ill without warning, and some fall foul of the various viruses and seasonal illnesses that wend their deadly way through the unpredictably vulnerable.
Those of us who are left must find new ways to grieve when we are denied the comfort of our friends and families. A hug goes a long way when you need a shoulder…and a virtual shoulder can feel a cold one, no matter how much love is behind it.
For that reason too we can feel lonely, especially at this time of year…and especially this year when COVID is adding to the distress.
I miss my two-legs when she has to be at the two-legs vet all day. I know they pump her full of smelly stuff and make her bleed, but she says it is better than me having to miss her for even longer… and I didn’t like it when she went into the vets and had to stay there…
But that’s just me. Lulu is missing Jake… the best of big brothers.
And if anyone knows a person who is missing someone this year… maybe you could deliver a hug from me, Santa. Or maybe their friends could find ways to make those virtual hugs a bit warmer…
Give Lulu a hug from me when you call…
Jake (left) and Lulu (right) focused on potential treats.
I don’t write letters much, but I’m feeling a bit lonely. You see, this will be the first Christmas I’ve ever had without my brother, Jake. He was eight when he got sick earlier this year. I’m six, but my two-legs think I still act like a puppy. They don’t realize how mature I’ve become.
Jake and I are both yellow labs. I wish you could have known him. He was a good older brother though he did have a couple of bad habits. He used to jump up and drag food off the kitchen counters. He was such a sneak that he’d run out to his favorite tree in the backyard and chow down before the two-legs knew what happened. He had another bad habit. He was infatuated with toilet paper, often taking it off the roll to chew it up. Once, he trashed a package with twenty-four rolls in it. I’ve never seen the two-legs so mad before!
Jake was good to me, though. Even when he just wanted to sleep, he would play with me. We used to chase the ball forever. He was a much better catcher than me and would often snatch the tennis ball when the male two legs would throw it up on the roof. The ball usually hit me in the nose when I tried to catch it. Most of the time, Jake would get the ball whenever one of the two-legs would toss it, but he was such a good brother that he would let me take it right out of his mouth afterward.
My two-legs are still very sad about Jake not being around anymore, but they make me feel loved. The female two legs still cries whenever one of us brings up Jake’s name. I used to follow Jake around wherever he went, but now I stick very close to my two-legs when I’m not outside staring at the squirrels. Those critters make me a little crazy with their bushy tales and beady eyes.
I don’t want to make you sad, Ani, so let me tell you a funny story about Jake and me. We live at the end of a private drive. When delivery drivers came, we always went out to greet them. We were friendly with everyone, but especially them. When they’d bring a package to the house, we’d often get a treat too.
We climbed into the trucks with the drivers even though the two-legs always told us never to ride with strangers. When the driver had to go, he would throw some delicious treats out the door for us to chase. As soon as we got out of the truck, the driver would peal out, almost on two wheels, as he was rounding the corner. The two-legs were embarrassed at first, but then they thought it was funny.
I hope that you have a happy Christmas and that Santa brings you lots of presents, Ani. I’ve heard that you’ve been a good dog. I miss Jake, but I have lots of good memories of him in my heart.
Lulu is a little camera shy with her two-legs.
About the Author’s Two-Legs
My name is Pete Springer. I taught elementary school for thirty-one years (grades 2-6) at Pine Hill School in Eureka, CA. Even though I retired over three years ago, my passion will always lie with supporting education, kids, and teachers.
When I came out of the teaching program many years ago, I realized how unprepared I was for what was in store for me in the classroom. My college education focused mostly on learning theory rather than the practical day-to-day challenges that all teachers face. Thankfully, I had some great mentors to lean on to help support me in the early part of my career.
I have made it my mission to pay it forward to the next generation of teachers. I was a master teacher to four student teachers, and I have several former students who are now teachers, including one who teaches at my former elementary school. That is pretty cool!
While I was teaching, I decided that one day I would write books for children. That ship is now in the harbor. I took some writing workshops, found a critique group, joined SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), and I’m nearing the end of writing my first middle-grade novel. I’m writing for middle-school boys, as I don’t feel there are enough good books for that age level.
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Pete’s Book Trailer
Who Will You Inspire Today? Teachers face this challenge and responsibility each day, but in the process, the author discovers that his students can also have a profound influence on him. Pete Springer takes you on his memorable thirty-one-year journey in education as an elementary school teacher and offers the many valuable life and teaching lessons he learned along the way. Get ready to laugh out loud at some of the humorous and memorable experiences that all teachers face, feel inspired by the inherent goodness of children, and appreciate the importance of developing a sense of teamwork among the staff. Learn valuable tips for working with children, parents, fellow staff members, and administrators. This book is ideal for young teachers, but also a reminder to all educators of the importance and responsibility of being a role model.
They Call Me Mom
Making a Difference as an Elementary School Teacher
My book is also available in paperback or on Kindle in the United Kingdom at: Amazon.co.uk