I once knew a dog called Ben, he was the first dog that came to live with me. Pretty much the first living creature I had ever been responsible for. I wasn’t the perfect owner. I wish I knew then what I know now. I did love that dog though, he was amazing a lifelong friend to me. For all his sixteen years. He was strong, independent, filled with fun and love. He changed my outlook on life and started me on a journey that is continuing. Since him I have always shared my life with animals as well as people. I hope I always will. The things I told him, the things he saw.
A deserted cove on the Yorkshire coast. The sun shining, gentle surf rolling to the shore. The sea, my young dog and me. A strong black Labrador boy. At home in the water, any water. He was confident and strong when it came to swimming. His favourite game was to dive deep for pebbles, bobbing in the sea as he searched the floor for stones to bring to me. Stones I threw straight back in the sea.
I double take, what’s that right by him? The same black head whiskers and wet coat. It’s a seal swimming with my dog, both completely at home in the water. Then gone, just the dog remained. Ben is long gone now my days here are so few. My dog swimming with a seal, that’s what I have told the world until now.
The truth, well who would ever believe me. She was so beautiful bewitching and beguiling. Long dark hair, naked to her waist. I guess you know the rest, the body of a fish. She swam with my dog, dived down and helped him with his stones. She came close to shore and rested in the surf then touched my hand and stroked his face.
“Come to me both of you when the time is right. The three of us will be together far from this shore”. With that she was gone. I took the dog when he was old. It broke my heart to watch him struggle down the beach. His tail though wagged as she appeared and helped him in the sea. It seemed she’d not aged a day in the fifteen years since we had seen her last. I go tomorrow, I asked a friend to drive me. I need to go while I can still walk across that shingle beach. I know she will be there waiting for me with that young dog swimming by her side.