They had a dog named Holly. She was called that because she popped up out of a box when they unwrapped her on Christmas morning. She was a collie. So, that made her Holly, the Collie, and she was as big and beautiful as Lassie! So, we became her second family; her hanai family (which in Hawaii means an unofficial adoption). Sometimes she visited us by herself, and other times she dragged her original family along. We had all the fun of having a pet without the responsibility except when they went on vacation, and then we took care of her.
We did things together. One time we took her to visit my dad in the hospital. Of course, Holly had to remain in the parking lot, but my dad waved to her from the window. “Hi, Holly,” he shouted. He could see her, but I don’t think she could see him from the tenth floor!
Another time, Holly was visiting, and I was making cookies. I thought it would be a special treat to let Holly taste the batter. She seemed to like it. Later that evening, Holly’s real owner, a girl about my age named Mindy was over as I was serving the cookies. I said to her, “Guess what, Mindy! When I was making the cookies, I let Holly taste the batter!”
“How did you give it to her?”
“I let her lick the spoon.”
“And what did you do with the spoon after?”
“Uhhh, I stuck it back in the bowl.”
“Ooh, Ooh!!! Dog spit cookies! Oooh!!!”
Needless to say, no one would eat my cookies, but that was OK. More for me and Holly!
It was because of this incident that I learned Holly liked sweets, or certainly, that I enjoyed sharing them with her. There was another occasion when someone in my family had celebrated a birthday, and there was one slice of cake left over. I planned to have this piece for myself. I took it out of the frig, and it looked scrumptious! It was white, vanilla cake with pink, peppermint icing adorned with red roses created out of frosting. It looked too good to eat, but I planned to eat it anyway! I could smell the sweetness, and my mouth was watering. I envisioned myself tasting it and feeling the texture of the cake in my mouth. Then, I imagined it melting and mixing with the creamy icing. I fancied what it would feel like to swirl this sweet substance around with my tongue. I was practically drooling!
But then I saw Holly looking at me with those puppy dog eyes. “Woof, Woof!”, and I knew right then that I was going to give her that last slice of cake! So, I let her have it, and she was in doggie heaven! I had no regret over giving it to her although I had been savoring the idea of tasting it myself. As a matter of fact, I felt nothing but joy as I watched her gobble it up! And that was when I realized the meaning of true love. True love is when somebody else’s pleasure brings you greater happiness than your own, and that is what Holly taught me. That happened many years ago, and Holly, the Collie, is long gone, but her memory lives on as sweet as that last slice of cake!
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