I never thought a dog could make my dreams come true.
Sure, I love dogs, so when my old black lab, Blackberry, needed a friend of her own—to keep her young and spry—my family and I were so happy to welcome Scooter into our lives. He was a lab/shepherd/husky mix, black with pinches of white here and there in his fur and one white paw. He was a wonderful friend; you could tell him anything, and he listened to you. You could cry into his fur, if needed, and I did need to, over time. He didn’t mind. He was a great guy. But, if I’m being honest, I just never thought he’d make my dreams come true.
For years, I searched for the “woman of my dreams”. Is she even out there? I wondered. Am I just wasting my time? For a long time, it felt like I was. Then, one night, with Scooter asleep and snoring lightly on his bed next to me, I ran across a dating profile online in which a black dog looking much like Scooter was prominently featured. The writer was pretty, seemed to have a fun personality, and said her beloved dog was named George. “It’s a sign,” I said quietly. I turned to Scooter, pointed at the screen, and said, “Does that remind you of anyone, buddy?” I sent a note to this woman, thinking, What’s the worst that can happen? She doesn’t respond. Yeah, well, that’s happened before. I’m used to it.
But that’s not what happened this time. This time, she wanted to know about the black dog with glimmers of white who shared my life. She wanted to know who I was, and she complimented me on my grammar.
Over the past two years, we have been dating, and each time she saw Scooter, my girlfriend would give him a pat on his head and tell him he was “the cutest dog”. We’ve bonded over many things, but I think I’d be correct in saying one of the first was Scooter himself. Last April, when he passed away unexpectedly, she was here to help me through a very tough time. Saying good-bye to the guy who helped bring us together.
Thank you for helping me find the woman of my dreams, Scooter. Today, his bed remains in my room, and a picture of Scooter at his cutest, his most content, hangs above it in “Scooter’s corner”.
Derek McFadden/Seattle, WA
I dreamed of turning a lifelong fascination with airplanes into a paying career. About 2.5 years ago I left a high-paying job in the software industry and enrolled in school to become an aircraft mechanic. I wanted to work on planes and gain experience that could lead to a job in aviation safety. In June of this year I was hired as a flight line mechanic, working for a major airline.
True story: my wife and I planned the next 27 years (and counting) of our lives on a drive from our home in Lacey WA to a University of Washington Husky football game in Seattle on November 5, 1988. The hopes and plans that we made during that 75-minute drive have worked out well...and continue to do so.
Here's the story: I was working in Seattle as a public relations consultant, and my wife was working in Olympia (about 65 miles south of Seattle). We were renting a home in Lacey, near Olympia, while trying to decide whether we wanted to live in Thurston County permanently; I did know that I couldn't take the daily commute to Seattle much longer, so we had to make some choices.
During our drive up Interstate 5 to see the Huskies play Arizona, we decided that:
a. we'd buy a house in Olympia in 1989
b. we'd have a baby in 1989
c. after my wife took a four-month maternity leave, I'd stay home and take care of our child (i.e.,. be a house-husband) starting in early 1990
d. I'd start my own public relations consulting business in early 1991
e. after that, we'd see what happens.
Here's what's happened: we had a son and bought a house in Olympia (where we still live) in 1989, I was a house-husband for 10 months starting on March 3, 1990, I launched my own PR business on Jan. 2, 1991 (from which I retired in late 2014 after nearly 24 years)....and along the way, we had a daughter in 1992.
All in all: the dreams that we had for ourselves on November 5, 1988, have come true....and then some. The only bad thing about that particular day: it was rainy, cold and altogether miserable at Husky Stadium....where the Huskies lost to Arizona 16-13.
Jim Fulton/Olympia, WA