She climbed off Stella and guided her little brown dog by leash. The pooch’s smiling face was accented with one erect, pointed ear. The other flopped like a wet maple leaf.

Stella, a white yacht, was dressed in red white and blue regalia in honor of the Fourth. Her mistress exchanged conversation with a gentleman on the deck of his ship, The Champion.

When I got close enough to eavesdrop, this is what I heard:

”Where’s Duke?” the lady asked.

”He died about six months ago,” the man replied.

“I’m sorry…how old?”

”Seventeen..I don’t have any reason to complain. He lived a good long life.”

“Going to get another?”

“I don’t know, I go back and forth. Replacing him kinda feels like a betrayal.”

Our worlds and lives are miles apart, but I know exactly what the man feels. We’re welcoming a puppy into our family in a couple of weeks and I have conflicting emotions.

The thing is, when I die, sure, I hope my loved ones miss me, but I wouldn’t want them to withhold love from another to protect their memories of me.

What about you?

Happy 4th of July all! I experienced my first earthquake here in Southern California and didn’t even notice!