(Crosley and Haggard, who are full brothers, share a moment and a pillow this Christmas time)

Editor’s Note:

As you know by now, the McLean Family lost its’  13-year-old beauty, Belle Belle, about two weeks ago. It’s been a time of adjustment and sadness for all of us, including our two other Goldens — Crosley and Haggard.

All three of them were “running buddies.” From Day 1. They went on their walks — together. They went to eat each day — together. At day’s end, they made it to their respective beds in our room — all at the same time, and, you guessed it, together. And, when it was L-A-K-E time? They all danced as if they were headed to Disney World. Every. Single. Time. And, together.

Rarely, if ever, would you find one of them, or, for that matter, two of them without the third tagging along. For sure, each one of them are (were) a bit different. Each one has (had) a different personality. Each one has (had) their own little habits and quirks. But make no mistake about it. They were a family. Our family. Their family.

On the day of Belle’s passing, both of the “boys,” took their turn at saying “goodbye.”

Crosley went first, leaning over and smelling his older “sister” from head to toe. At the end, he licked her face. A goodbye kiss.

Haggard, always the “bull in the China Shop,” was a bit more rambunctious. He wanted Belle to get up. He wanted her to play. And, he wanted her to do it — right then and there. At the end, though, he touched his nose to hers. An “Eskimo” kiss of goodbye.

Ever since that dreadful day, Leigh Ann and I have paid special attention to the “boys.” We wanted to make sure they knew it was going to be OK.

What we have noticed is that the two boys have paid special attention to each other, too. They have made sure that they were going to be OK, too.

Just last night, as we watched TV, I looked over on the couch and saw the boys nestled up and ready for a long winter’s nap. Haggard had fluffed his favorite pillow and scooted over next to his brother. Crosley, a bit displaced and looking for a spot to lay his head, found the perfect spot. After a few minutes of watching, he plunked his head right on top of Haggard’s. It was not long before the two of them were deep in sleep and chasing Belle in their dreams.

I don’t know why God didn’t make a Golden Retriever to last a lifetime with us. I am sure there are good reasons. And, I don’t know why God didn’t make mankind more like Golden Retrievers, who always find a way to love; snuggle; and cherish their time together. I am sure that all life would be better if we had more of those same traits in each of us.

What I do know this:

On this Christmas week — when the world seems to be spiraling out of control and fighting each day for another breath — is that both Crosley and Haggard have something that we should all strive to acquire as we dash to unwrap presents and unpack our stockings, hung from the chimney with care.

They have peace. We should want peace.

They have comfort. We should want comfort.

They have companionship. We should want companionship.

They have love, which they are not afraid to share. We should want more love to share.

They have each other to share a pillow with; to share this life with. We should all want someone to love and share our lives with.

Those are the presents that we should want to unwrap on this Friday.

How sweet they are.

How sweet would it be if we were all more like them?

How sweet would it be if we could all lay down and put our heads on each other, and just rest? Together.

This is my Christmas prayer for the day.

That we can find a way to live in this world in peace and harmony — just like Cros & Hag.

Together.