CREDOS: Not alone — I

Mary L Miller

After my husband died suddenly from a heart attack on the tennis court, my world crashed around me. My six children were 10, nine, eight, six, three and 18 months, and I was overwhelmed with the responsibilities of earning a living, caring for the children and just plain keeping my head above water.

I was fortunate to find a wonderful housekeeper to care for the children during the week, but from Friday nights to Monday mornings, the children and I were alone, and frankly I was uneasy. Every creak of the house, every unusual noise, any late-night phone call — all filled me with dread and anxiety.

One Friday evening I came home from work to find a big beautiful German shepherd on our doorstep. This wonderful strong animal gave every indication that he intended to enter the house and make it his home. I, however, was wary. Where did this obviously well-cared-for dog come from? Was it safe to let the children play with a strange dog? Even though he seemed gentle, he still was powerful and commanded respect. The children took an instant liking to “German” and begged me to let him in.

I agreed to let him sleep in the basement until the next day, when we could inquire around the neighbourhood for his owner. That night I slept peacefully for the first time in many weeks. The following morning we made phone calls and checked lost-and-found ads for German’s owner, but with no results.