I know most people don't mean harm when they say "it's just a dog." But I have to feel these people are missing out on a lot of beautiful things in life, like just another sunset, just another first snow or just another friend.
Lola taught me how to handle adversity and Lucy taught me how to love unconditionally. Lola taught me to laugh and Lucy taught me to cry. She taught me that it's okay to love someone so much that when they finally die, you feel that your heart is broken.
At the highest metaphysical level, my teacher was right: It takes no effort to be free. But interestingly enough, this spiritual freedom is of little help to me now as I face one of the most challenging decisions of my life. As life is so full of paradox, so is enlightenment.
This afternoon, my dog will leave this world in my arms without pain, with my lipstick kiss on her mature Maltese mane. Tonight, when it is late and dark and time to sleep, I will feel her presence beside me.
It is clear that, come the time, I will do the right thing by my Scout. My baby. I will not let her suffer. We are told that we love our animals so much, we know when that moment is upon us. And we do the right thing. But how?
When I was 26 I had the perfect boyfriend. Big, strong, loving, caring, attentive, and always around. Happy to curl up on the bed next to me while I read a book. Okay, so he was an Airedale, is there something wrong with that? No downside at all as far as I was concerned.
I never wanted the responsibility of children, yet this min pin taught me much about being responsible and accountable, and I learned how to give and receive absolute unconditional love. Certainly, I underestimated the impact her presence would have on my life.
My beloved teacup Pomeranian friend Dutch passed away this weekend and I wasn't there for it. The truth is, he was old and fragile. But his passing is still shocking and sudden and seemingly avoidable.
As intentional and gracious as she was in living, so she was in dying. Instead of going off to a hiding place in the woods, Sugar let us witness, share and learn from the natural ending to a life complete. That's how generous was her big, big heart.
For 12 years this dog was at my side, through good times and bad, through dating, marriage, kids. He watched me grow up -- was living proof that I was capable of taking care of something other than myself.