Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Miss. — Guardian Angels come in all shapes, sizes and species.

on November 12, 2013

Today, I am missing a friend. 

He’s been gone three years…and not a day goes by that he doesn’t enter my mind. 

I like to think of him this way. 

Doing this job: Cayman. Guardian Angel. 


Cleopatra, better known as Cleo, was sitting in her yard looking out over the houses on the hill.  If only I could go exploring, she thought.  Cleo, a young boxer with black and brown fur, and big brown eyes, knew that the world was bigger than her own backyard.  The blue, warm skies and her own puppy sense of adventure and abandon, encouraged her to go out exploring.  She didn’t think about what would happen next.  She didn’t think about how she would get home, she just started running.

Oh, it felt so good to be free and on her own.  She smelled things she had never smelled before.  Cleo found new mailboxes and yards of grass and trees just begging to be sniffed.  She met new friends and said, “Hello!” wagging her brindle-colored tail.

Cleo had no worries in the world.  She walked down the street, head held high and was proud of her own foolish bravery.

Then Cleo noticed that the sky had started to get dark. She wasn’t sure which way to go, and she started to get worried.  She wished she had thought to pay closer attention to which way she came.  “How will I get back to my home? Who will help me?” she said to herself.  Cleo was now very scared.

What Cleo didn’t know was that there was someone watching.  There was someone who could help.


Cayman.  A mature, stoic black Labrador was on his first day at his new job–Guardian Angel.

On Earth, Cayman was loved by many, who now missed him terribly, their hearts broken by his journey across the rainbow bridge.  He knew his family was sad, and he was watching as they loved on his memories and fun times.  He was watching them as they planted a tree in his honor.  He was watching … and wanted to be with them again, but it was time for another adventure.

Cayman had spotted the “HELP WANTED” ad right way and and knew he had all the right job requirements that made him perfect for this new assignment.

He was smart. Loyal. Friendly. Aware. He knew the dangers of the world. Knew to walk in the grass, not in the road.  To avoid fast-moving cars.  He was fast. He could chase a ball for hours without getting tired.  He had special skills, too.  He could swim and dive into any water.  He was kind with children and watched over them, taking this responsibility very serious.  His owners used to let him babysit X and Y when they went out to play.  “Take Cayman with you” was a job he took with pride.

Cayman had had many jobs in his lifetime.  Friend.  Guard Dog.  One of his favorite jobs was retrieving the newspaper from the driveway each morning.  His people would let him out the front door and he would immediately set his sights on the green plastic bag with the newspaper inside, just laying at the end of the driveway.  He ran with great speed and purpose, picked up the paper in his mouth and ran all the way back to deliver it.  Most days, this was an easy task, but Cayman always knew when it was Sunday because the paper was so much heavier and harder to carry.  Sometimes he would have to drop it and readjust his hold, to deliver all of the pages intact.  Cayman ran inside and dropped it on the kitchen floor in order to receive his well-deserved treat.

Cayman also held the title of “Perimeter Checker” for his people.  Every day, several times a day, Cayman walked around the edges of this entire yard.  Most people thought he was just wandering around, but Cayman knew better.  He knew how important it was to keep a daily check on the grounds, to know the lay of the land and any changes that occurred in between checks.  He knew what animals had visited, how the grass was growing, found any lost toys or balls, made sure that there was no litter or garbage in the yard, as his people loved to keep their yard looking neat.  He knew to stay in the grass, stay off of the road, although he did enjoy taking advantage of the walking path at times to keep his feet dry from the morning dew.

All of these skills and experiences made him perfect for this new job.  Not many dogs are selected for an assignment on their very first day.  But Cayman was different.  He didn’t need any training, he was ready.


Enter Cleo.

Cayman watched as the young pup headed out of her yard, walking down the middle of the street.  Cayman shook his head, “silly pup.”

Cayman watched as Cleo smelled mailboxes and new scents, and he knew that she wasn’t paying attention to how far away she was traveling.  Cayman knew that she wasn’t leave a trail to find her way home again.  Again, “silly pup.”  (Cayman would make some kind of face or look here.)

Cayman watched as cars whizzed by, Cleo didn’t even notice.  Cayman watched as she walked up to strangers and other dogs, and he knew that she didn’t know the dangers all around her.

Cayman watched as it got darker and darker outside.  He knew that Cleo wouldn’t be able to find her way home and it was getting colder and colder.  Cayman knew all too well the comforts of a warm house and a nice, big fluffy bed to sleep on.  Cleo would be scared to be outside by herself.

It was time for action.  Cayman looked around again and led Cleo to a nice house on the corner.  The lights were on and the cars were in the driveway and Cayman knew.  Cayman told her how nice these people were and that they would help her and take care of her.  Cayman told her how to get to the back door and directed Cleo to scratch at the door and ask to be invited in.  Cayman knew these people would let her in.

And they did.

Cayman’s people looked at each other and somehow knew. Knew that Cayman had sent this young, naive pup there for help. Knew that they would be able to find her home and get her back safely.

And they took comfort in the fact that Cayman was still there, taking his job as seriously as he had done before, watching.

Because puppies … and people … will need him again. Someday.


Story originally posted on January 8, 2013. Reposted today because I’m missing him.
© Sharon Zuckerwar and MommyVerbs, 2010-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sharon Zuckerwar and MommyVerbs with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

3 responses to “Miss. — Guardian Angels come in all shapes, sizes and species.

  1. Jan says:

    Cayman, please watch out for Chapin. She’s a young soul. 🙂

  2. rarasaur says:

    What a lovely tribute… I’m sorry he’s gone and that you’re missing him, but I’m so glad that he’s not gone from your heart, and that you have this tribute to reminisce on when you’re feeling the pangs. 🙂

  3. […] Miss. — Guardian Angels come in all shapes, sizes and species. Nov […]

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