this page was initially a post a few months ago, but its important, so i gave it its own page
there are several stupid emails circulating about what we have learned from our dogs. “always wag, spin around 3 times before laying down”, lots of bullshit really. (so, here is where you realize this is my first non-cheery post. you can tell because….i will actually capitalize.)
the poop bag:
I have learned so many things from my dogs, and while I blog mostly about Cody Bear, my current dog, tonight I am going to tell you what I learned from Loki, the dog of my heart, first. Then, I will give you the life lesson Cody and I both worked on tonight. So here goes:
Granted, the cliches are true: I did learn unconditional love from the sweet, perfect, black as night, border-chow. I did. But tonight, I want you to know that one of THE MOST IMPORTANT LOKI LESSONS came upon her passing. Before Loki died, I had friends I loved, coworkers I cared for or endured, and volunteers I respected and liked. Also, acquaintances that intrigued me, dog park folk who “got me” and, how ever associated….family.
In the weeks that followed her death, way to early and way shocking, the huge population of characters in my life shifted: some blurred a bit, while others (some unexpected) came forward as dog lovers or people that truly, undeniably and with grave emotion…. understood my grief.
They understood it, and whether I had known them two decades or two days, those people emerged as loving, compassionate and enlightened souls to me. MC, who I respected but I didn’t yet know well, opened her heart to me immeasurably. My sister changed her entire life schedule to be with me any moment of the day. D,L, & H were there to fill any sorrowful moments for any length of time. My “BFF” searched out the perfect squishy stuffed dog for me to squeeze and cry on during the icky moments. Long lost friends K & J heard the news and searched me out and offered…anything they could. Countless others showed love, compassion, understanding and warmth as a result of Loki’s passing. Others….showed little understanding and little warmth, and that, too is a lesson.
Even two years later, a friend who had never felt the pain but had been there every second she could while I went through the grief, said something to me that hit my heart and knocked me over. CSC, who wasn’t sure she understood what I felt when Loki died, waded through it with me. She rushed to the animal hospital, hugged me then and hugged me daily afterwards. When Claye died, (a dear friend of Loki’s) she told me she never understood what I felt until then. That admission still hits me. I’m still learning. I may forever find hearts that understand.
So… her last lesson was a lesson of humanity.
Every thing I learned from that perfect dog, the dog of my heart, was deep; a nurturing and strong sort of lesson plan.
Then came Cody Bear….
Having learned as much, but oh so different, I continue my journey with this crazy little bear. Patience: that’s been an important and ongoing lesson. Forgiveness: I still miss some of those shoes, and pants, and reading materials…but it is time to let the healing begin. Tranquility: like the dog’s freaky belly, you have to make time for peace to heal your soul.
The bare bones of it is that 1. he is bad at agility. 2. I am bad at agility……
3. …..WE BOTH LOVE IT. We had a BLAST.
So maybe tonight’s lesson is: do something for the sake of doing, to have fun, not to prove anything, not to be the best. Make asses of yourself, smile, wag. Do your best, but do it because you want to have FUN. And….share it with someone furry that you love.
So… Ruben and Anna,
It hurts so much, but you get to learn from it. And mostly, from now on, you get to love Rosie AND the rest of your furry family even more. You get to love them more because in addition to being your kids, they’re your teachers. And they love you forever. The real forever…the forever that really lasts forever.
To sum it up….
While it sucks. (it just sucks so much) Losing a dog is the worst and weirdest thing that can happen. Maybe it is the worst because its weird. Who knows. But here’s one of the coolest lessons, what a friend (J) had said: “You’re so lucky to have loved someone SO much that you hurt so much that they’re gone.”
Do you get that? Like: how horribly unsatisfying to go through life and not have someone, a dog, to love enough and to share so much joy with that it actually ….sucks this immeasurably, wretchedly and inconsolably much.
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