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Reische column: Cara, Jon and Camille find a Faithful Friend

It’s funny how things happen when you least expect it. That’s how we found Mo.
Last summer, my husband Jon, our daughter Camille and I said goodbye to Riley, our amazing and never forgotten golden retriever. It was heartbreaking, yet bittersweet, as he had lived a long happy life. It was simply his time.
The loss of his presence in our home was significant; however, we weren’t going right out to find another furry friend. With Camille’s 5th birthday the following August, we thought the timing would be perfect for that Norman Rockwell moment – the puppy-in-the-box sort of gift.
We would wait. Or so we thought.
Not long ago, I was reading the e-newsletter from Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary. Just out of curiosity, I checked the animals that were up for adoption. After all, we weren’t ready for a dog yet – I just wanted to look. Right?
Sure. There in bold letters: “MO”: a big goofy yellow Lab mix, one blue eye, one yellow eye, ready to be a lifelong friend.
Being a person who follows instinct, I asked Jon if we could go visit Mo the next day at his foster home with Pat and Bobby Gass. What WONDERFUL people to have saved Mo and his travel buddy, Lucy, from the side of I-77 in the rain. Both skin and bones, they probably wouldn’t have survived for long.
Jon was unsure of what had happened to my “puppy in the box” for Camille’s birthday, but he’s learned to roll with my whims. Besides, it involved a dog!
Mo has been part of our family since Easter. From the minute we met him, we knew he was our dog. He came out of the house smiling, wagging his whole body (his movements reminded me of one of those floppy, half-filled stuffed animals), and when he chased the tennis ball, he bounded across the grass like Tigger from “Winnie the Pooh.” You know: bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!
He was a ball of energy, full of joy, with a gentle spirit that was apparent to us all.
Camille and a friend dressed Mo in a tutu and fairy wings, and he just came out smiling ó which let us know how very much we could trust our “Saint Mo.”
Have there been a few bumps in the road? Sure. Have there been tears when he chewed up some of Camille’s toys, or dug up some of my plants? Of course.
But how does that compare with hearing the boundless laughter from your daughter as she plays with her new beloved friend? Or the satisfaction of having a new running partner who only wants to please? In my book, there IS no comparison.
Our home was missing something; we just didn’t know how much. Riley will never be replaced, but I feel certain that he would’ve approved of Mo.
Mo was so very lucky to have been taken off the road. He shows his gratitude every day. But WE are the truly fortunate ones. Things happen for a reason. You keep an open heart and an open mind, and when you least expect it, you find your “Mo.”

Cara Reische lives in Spencer with her husband, Jon Palmer, and their daughter, Camille.

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