It wasn’t too long ago that Gus, my Florida wellness dog, crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Our hearts were broken. This gentle and kind boy left a huge void and is missed by all, especially Doak, the black Lab who was Gus’s best buddy since he was eight weeks old.

Matt and Helen knew that they would lovingly bring another golden retriever into the family, but not right now—it was too soon. However, as my mother used to say: “Man proposes and God disposes.” And God did His thing.

A few weeks ago, Matt called me and announced they now had a black Lab mix rescue pup.

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“I thought you were going to wait a while and then adopt a Golden.”

“We were, Mom, but we had to do this for Doak. He has not been himself since Gus died. He goes to Gus’ favorite spots and whimpers and cries. He looks so sad and is hurting; we had to get a companion or we might have lost him to a broken heart.”

As I mentioned, the new family member is a six-month-old rescue—Doak looks like a giant next to this little guy. He has white markings on his chest and therein lays the magical and whimsical twist: How he got his name!

Kala and Trevor were introduced to this boy when they Skyped with the family. After noting how cute and sweet he was, they made quite the observation: The white chest marking is almost the exact replica of the Batman logo! I now happily introduce you to Bruce Wayne!

Matt says Bruce has made himself quite at home and follows Doak everywhere. The boys are buddies and guardians of the property, and Doak is once again a happy doggy. Bruce is full of energy: he loves to chase Doak around the yard, nip his ears, his tail and the side of his mouth. Hey, Doak, I seem to recall you doing the same stuff to Gus when you were a pup. You had no respect for your elder. Uh huh that’s right, it’s payback time!

I’ve seen photos of Bruce and he is a handsome boy. I look forward to meeting him on my next trip. Matt assures me Bruce will love me, especially when he learns I am the Cookie Lady from the North.

As much as they miss Gus, Matt, Helen and the family know they made the right, loving and kind decision: a pup rescued and brought into a caring family and a lively and adoring companion for a sad Doak. One door closed and another opened wide. Isn’t this the way of life? 

P.S. RIP Adam West, the real Batman!

Ruthann can be reached at