Within hours of being born Annabel met her parents, both sets of grandparents, two aunts, and many family friends. There was one very important family member, however, that she didn’t meet until she left the hospital and went homeโ€ฆRigby!

Rigby took notice of Annabel immediately once she entered our home, but mainly focused on Heather because she could tell she isn’t quite herself yet. When Heather gingerly lies down on the couch, Rigby sits guard at her side. When Heather shuffles off to the bathroom, Rigby follows close behind and barks at anyone that approaches. She is worried about Heather and it is very cute. Perhaps she is remembering what it felt like to recover from her surgery. (She’s fully recovered now thankfully!)

In time though I know Rigby and Annie will bond because Rigby and Madeline became buddies somewhere around Madeline’s first birthday. Previously uninterested in Rigby, Madeline suddenly found Rigby very funny, and would laugh whenever she’d bark. She would also grab her fur and pull on it with the delicacy of a professional wrestler. Heather and I used to take Maddie’s hand when she did this and then run it gently over Rigby’s back while saying, “Nice pets. Nice pets.” Maddie understood and tugged at Rigby’s fur a little less fervently. Rigby, bless her heart, endured it stoically for the most part.

On the last night Maddie was in our home, Rigby stayed close by her side. Later, Heather and I surmised that she knew Maddie wasn’t feeling so well and was worried about her favorite little friend. We have lots of photos of the two buddies together, but I have always loved this one:

Rigby and Maddie

Yesterday Heather and I were taking some photos of Annie in the green rocking chair when, to my delight, Rigby jumped up onto it and sat down across from Annie. Heather kept snapping and caught this sweet moment:

A wary encounter.

It’s hard to know what Rigby went through after Madeline passed away. Her little buddy never came home. One part of me thinks, “Hey, she’s just a dog. All she cares about is getting fed and taken out to the bathroom.” But the other part of me worries that she, like Heather and me, is mourning the lost member of her pack. If that’s the case, here’s hoping adding Annabel to the pack brings a little light back into her life just as it did for me.