One year ago my best friend passed away. The last time I walked through these woods, I was with Maisie and Annie and she and I had just finished a phone call. I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know that I would never see or talk to her again. I haven’t been back to these woods since then because they remind me of her.
Today I went back. It was time to see this beautiful place again. This time with Maisie, Annie and Winn. My daughter also came with me and as we walked I was able to breathe the air, smell the leaves and think of my friend and enjoy this place once again.
I’m so thankful for this transformation in my heart. The passage of time helps, but being with my three dogs and my lovely daughter made it easier to venture in and embrace the natural beauty that surrounded us.
Part of being a pet owner is turning your heart over to your furry friend, knowing that it will break when you have to say goodbye. There is never enough time with our pets, and very often, when the dull ache in our chest and the tears are still fresh, we do it all over again. We are willing to put our hearts on the line because we know it is worth it. The joy, the mischief, the mess and everything in between are rewarded with powerful, unconditional love.
We’ve made many friends through social media and even though we’ve never met, we’ve gotten very attached to our doggy friends. We share our stories, our triumphs, our funny moments and our sad moments. This year, as our circle has expanded, so has our heartache as we learn of the losses. Some lived nice long lives and some didn’t get that chance, but we miss seeing the antics of Winston, Charlie, Lenny, Larry, Stella, Sirius, Kipper, Atia, Cash, Peggy and so many others.
Recently, it feels like I’ve given condolences over and over. It’s so hard, it’s always too soon, but certainly, the hardest are the ones that leave unexpectedly when they are still young. One day they are healthy and present and the next they are gone. In the last few months this has happened to three special Newfies that I knew and loved. It hurts, it hurts a lot and probably always will. Iggy, we still look for you on the beach. Rio, you were Annie’s very best boyfriend and a huge force in her recovery. Arleen, you are irreplaceable, but the gift of your beauty, temperament and spirit lives on. We would give anything for more time with all of you.