The day after Mabel died, I was booked to teach. Despite being a complete and utter mess, I kept the gig... I had a ginormous vet bill and what good would sitting home do?
I was teaching in the better school district, where the parents are often very well paid professionals and have certain expectations of how their children should behave. This often makes teaching there a dream compared to the "hazard pay" district. But apparently all bets are off right before school is out.
I was teaching a junior math class and as I was handing out the class work I noticed a sandwich on the floor. I found the kid it belonged to and the kid he was throwing his food at and had them clean it up. As class went on, I kept hearing a strange noise behind me but as I was occupied with the school's new fangled attendance system on the computer, I never gave it much thought. At the end of class, it was much louder. And suddenly, I realized the naughty boys had been throwing food at me the entire class and as they left the room they lobbed the remainder of the sandwich at me.
I wrote them up... the only time I've ever done that in this district... and the school sent someone to take pictures and clean up the mess. I was on the verge of tears as the next class began. I gave them their assignment and spent the rest of the class biting my lip to keep it together. By the last class, word had spread through campus. A senior asked if he could leave for some reason and I let him. He was gone a long time. When he showed back up, just before class was out, he returned with a box full of smoothies from the local Jamba Juice and insisted I get first pick, because he had heard I'd had a bad day.
His kindness lifted my spirits but I knew I had no reason to hurry home and was growing sadder and feeling so sorry for myself. The day ended and I went to the office to sign out and saw him:
He was a therapy dog. I don't know why he was there...I've never seen him since. The school secretary told me to give him a hug... and I dove to the floor and just rolled around with him...not caring one bit that my employers might be looking. As I hugged him, I started to sob. And he started to lick my tears away.
Concerned, his handler came over to apologize and correct him. "He's trained not to do that." Only when I looked up at her did she see my tears. I could barely whisper, "My dog died yesterday." She backed away and left me with him. I cried and cried until there were no more tears and then we played and played.
I don't know where this angel came from but I'm forever grateful our paths crossed that day.