‘True Friend’

By Julia Nunnally Duncan | August 11th, 2022

For Laddie

girl and dog silhouette Photo by Christinlola Dreamstime. Julia Nunnally Duncan shares her nostalgic poem, “True Friend,” with Boomer readers. Her 1960s sentiment touches all who have loved a dog.

Julia Nunnally Duncan shares her heartfelt nostalgic poem, “True Friend,” with Boomer readers. The sentiment as relevant today as it was in the 1960s, especially for others who have shared life and love with a treasured dog.

True Friend

for Laddie

Julia and Laddie c. 1964, for Julia Nunnally Duncan's poem, "True Friend." Duncan says, "The photo is of me with my collie Laddie, taken around 1964, at our neighbors’ house. My older brother Steve is the blond boy wearing the ball jersey and our neighbor Ray is throwing the ball to Steve."
Julia and her collie, Laddie, c. 1964, at a neighbor’s house. The neighbor, Ray, is behind, throwing a ball to her older brother, Steve.

If you had a dog in childhood,
romping with you
through pastures and woods,
staying by your side in sun and snow,
nuzzled close to you on a rainy day,
you know what friendship means.

And when in your teens
you didn’t have time
to play anymore,
heading out the door
for one place or another –
even then your longtime friend
tried to tag along,
his tail wagging.
Not this time, Lad,
you had to say,
not knowing one day
you would wish he were here again,
not knowing he was more important
than what drew you away.

His time with you was short,
but such a connection runs deep;
memories nudge you in the daylight
and haunt you while you sleep.
This companion you once knew
came and went so quickly –
in a flash, it seems –
like childhood,
like a dream.
But he is never far away,
stored in your heart
to remind you every day
what a true friend he was then.

Read more childhood memories from Julia Nunnally Duncan and find other contributions from Boomer readers in our From the Reader department.

Have your own childhood memories or other stories you would like to share with our baby boomer audience? View our writers’ guidelines and e-mail our editor at Annie@BoomerMagazine.com with the subject line “‘From Our Readers’ inquiry.”

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