I Still Look for Patches
Aren't we lucky, those select few of us who had a childhood friend willing
to be our everlasting, faithful companion? I can still remember the day I
met my special buddy.
My mother and I patiently waited one spring evening for my father to come
home. His appearance in the doorway made no distinct impression in my
mind. A pair of worn, tattered jeans clung loosely to his hips, accompanied
by his favorite, well used Chuckie's and a work stained T-Shirt. The
wallet mark on the back of his pants attested to their age and the pack of Kools
he carried in his shirt pocket only completed the picture. The blandness of
the day seemed to want to mingle with the night. Suddenly, I heard a
small, feeble "Yip."
"Did I hear something? Daddy, please tell me. What was that? Where did
come from? Tell me, please? Where? DAD!"
As he reached into his shirt pocket he replied, "It was only my pocket."
The look on my face must have displayed some portion of my disappointment
for I heard a soft "Amy."
I slowly turned around to look at my daddy's outstretched hand. There,
curled tightly in his palm was my best friend. She was a runt, small and
puny. Several brown splotches marred her white fur, reminding me of a
beginning seamstress who had yet to learn the proper way to patch up
clothes. Hence, her name, "Patches."
Just as small acorns become grand oaks, tiny puppies become great dogs.
Patches was the best of them. She was a friend, confidant, baby-sitter and
blame taker. If I was troubled, I could depend on her two ears, one brown,
the other white, to listen attentively to everything I had to say. Her
usual sparkling eyes glowed at the sound of my voice. When my sister was
born, who else but Patches protected her from the bullies. If my some
misfortune I broke a glass, my trusting companion would willing assume
responsibility. her obvious dedication only made parting with her harder
When I was about 10, my family moved into a house whose backyard wasn't
nearly large enough to contain a boisterous, frolicking dog. Sadly, we had
to get rid of her. My cousin seemed like the best candidate because he
owned a house by the lake with vast pieces of land that should be heaven
an energetic dog to romp in.
I can still remember her sad, multicolored face staring at me forlornly as
she disappeared around the corner. The anguish in her eyes will be with me
Since her new owner was my cousin, I saw her once or twice before she
vanished. Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder.
Until my dying day I shall always expect to see her splotchy face come
trotting up my drive. I believe that, to this very day, she is still
to find her way back to her true home. Because I have no proof she died, I
continue to have faith. The picture is vivid in my mind: A gangly white
dog, whose body attests to the long journey she has made, comes bounding
bathing me in loving dog kisses.
--- Copyright © 1998 Amy Yates