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September 27, 2012

Everything Has A Purpose

 Dante and Luigi

Dante, my grandson, with Great Dane Puppies

Dante with Great Dane Puppies

Have you ever been reading the book and you wondered why a particular character was in there? One of the most important things in writing is to make sure that each character has a purpose. You can’t just put characters in to fill space; they have to have a reason for being in the story.

My mother used to say that God put everyone on earth for a reason. I assume that applies to animals also. I’m here to tell you about one such person, or one such animal: his name was Luigi. But Luigi’s story is also Dante’s story, so I have to tell them together.

Dante

Dante is my grandson. He was born with a little speech problem. It wasn’t anything major, but when you’re a kid, everything is major. It caused him to be shy around new people, especially kids his own age.

Even though Dante didn’t communicate well with people, he had an unbelievable gift for communicating with, and making friends with animals. As luck would have it, we have an animal sanctuary, so Dante ended up with a lot of friends. He made friends with the pigs, the horse, the cats and dogs, but one of his best friends was Luigi.

Dante walking to the farm with Luigi

A Long Walk

Dogs grow faster than kids!!

Best Buddies

Dante with Budsie

Getting Sleepy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For nine years they were the best of friends. Almost every day Dante would walk down to the farm to bring treats from his father’s garden so he could feed the pigs. The pigs would see him coming and run to greet him. And every day, Luigi walked with him, escorting Dante down the long street to our farm.

During all those years of talking with the animals, Dante’s speech got better. Now you can’t tell him apart from all the other kids. Maybe it just took time; or maybe it was the practice he got. Either way, Dante had Luigi to help him through the tough times.

Luigi With His Hat

Luigi sleeping with Joey

Luigi and Joey

Luigi’s Last Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The past few months Luigi hasn’t been able to make the walk to the farm. His bones were giving out and he had problems breathing. He was a big boy—about 190 pounds—and the Texas summer took a toll on him. This past week he deteriorated to the point he couldn’t get up to make it outside. He couldn’t even get up on the couch.

Sunday was Luigi’s last day, or at least the last day on this part of his journey. I like to believe he’s in a better place now, one filled with little kids who need him. Little kids he can escort down a long street and make them feel like he’s their best friend.

Aftermath

Some people might think that with 41 animals, losing one wouldn’t hurt so bad. But it does. Each one is unique, with their own special personality. Luigi was extra special. He wasn’t just a big dog, he was a big dog with a giant heart, and he made a little boy feel like a million dollars.

Bottom Line

I think that’s what makes animals so wonderful. That’s their greatest secret. Animals don’t care if you’re white or black, Christian or Muslim, short or tall, skinny or fat. Animals don’t care if you enunciate your words or talk with a lisp. They look beyond that. They understand. Wouldn’t it be nice if humans were the same way.

 

Ciao, and thanks for stopping by,

 

Giacomo

 

Giacomo Giammatteo is the author of Murder Takes Time, and A Bullet For Carlos. He lives in Texas where he and his wife have an animal sanctuary with 40 loving “friends.”

 

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5 Responses to “Everything Has A Purpose”

  1. This story has resonated with me, for as a child babies and animals were my preference, still are. Their innocence was beautiful. Their eagerness to forgive made me cry. It still does.
    My dog “Anthony” intuitively knew my thoughts! When I was at wits ends with him, he would come to my lap, rest his head and look up at me with pathetic eyes. He had a knack of peeling the sheets off my bed like a banana.

    Nice blog topic, I’ll be sure to follow!

    Maybe someday I will have a “Sanctuary” too!!

  2. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, animals are amazing. They never cease to impress me.

  3. Great tribute to Luigi.

    Yes, he did have a big heart. The expression “gentle giant” definitely applied to him. He was so big yet he couldn’t have hurt a fly.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear that Luigi is gone. He looked like a great friend.

    And you’re right. It doesn’t matter how many animals you have. They’re all special.

  5. Thanks Maria. Yes, every one of them are. We’ve had some that I might have originally thought…”maybe not them.” But after a while their personalities shine through and you end up loving them for who they are.

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