In 1994 I was working for Boys and Girls club running afterschool and evening program for youth 12 to 25. There was a young man about 11 years old who came to the club every day afterschool. I can’t remember his name but his family had a young golden retriever named Goldie. This young man mentioned that his family were looking for a new home for Goldie as they couldn’t take care of her anymore. We had just lost our dog a few months before and we were looking for a new family member. Shortly thereafter Goldie was ours and now known as Robin. Robin was a couple years old and somewhat skittish and easily startled. We fell in love with Robbie and our new daughter, Kate, dressed Robbie up and she was ours. Years passed and Robbie became more and more like a grandmother. Robbie was so kind and gentle. We went out and adopted another golden and named her, Maddie. Maddie is another story for another time. Maddie and Robin were close. Sharing couches and adventures. We ended up losing Robbie around 2007. I am not sure of the exact year but it was a great loss for the family. Robbie was around 16 years old and had rallied many times. She was something.
I returned to the Boston Marathon in 2005 after a 12 year absence. Thats also another story for another post. Each year since we lost Robbie I have run Boston and for 7 of those years I also ran New York. At the expos there is always a giant board put up by Asics or Adidas or whomever is the major sponsor of the race. On this whiteboard folks write messages about their run or who they are running for. I always find a spot in one of the bottom corners, you know, down where a dog might be able to read. In that corner I always write “This one’s for you Robbie”. Well as I prepare to head to Massachusetts I will be looking for the spot in the corner. A spot which a skittish golden retriever might find quiet and comfortable in a busy expo. There I will write “this one’s for you Robbie” and feel honoured to do so.
Good luck with the Taper