(Brian fell in cold waters helping Butters find a way back to shore from a reedy lake.)
"A present for you."
" Is it a baseball mitt?"
"Is it a new pair of sneakers?"
His dad called the boys for final instructions before releasing them to their parents, and right then I told Brian I had brought him a new puppy for his 11th birthday. He opened the box, grabbed the dog and ran back to the field screaming at his teammates to wait. And there, on the field, the boys all sat around and admired the new puppy that looked more bear than dog.
When we got home, the puppy, named Wooley on that field, became Brian's constant companion.
When we retired in 2002, Brian was still in college. Wooley went to live with him until we were settled in Oregon.
Wooley remained with Brian until she died of cancer. Putting her to sleep was the toughest thing he ever had to do.
After he bought his house in July 2009, he acquired Buttercup, (Butters).