A LIFE WITHOUT A DOG IS A LIFE WITHOUT A SOUL

A LIFE WITHOUT A DOG IS A LIFE WITHOUT A SOUL

Friday, September 30, 2016

A DOG FOR EVERY MOMENT OF MY LIFE


For every moment of my life there has been a dog by my side.

Every laugh, every tear.

The moments I saw coming and the ones that jumped me from behind.

The relationships I thought would last forever that did not last at all.

The accomplishments and the failures.

The beginning - the middle and the end.

The cold snowy days.

The warm summer days.

The leaves falling.

The birth of a child.

The death of a parent.

The sleepless nights.

The times I tried to change and start over just to find myself in the same place again.

The times I fell in love.

The times I fell out of love.

The many different lives I have lived thus far in this one life.

All of it - every moment - everything lost - everything gained

               
There has been a dog by my side.

Better than any friend or relative.

A love that surpasses all love.

Eyes that sparkle and eventually fade leaving my soul vacant and nothing but a collar in my hand.

But knowing - that for every moment of my life 

There has been and there always will be... 

                                   A DOG




               R.I.P. Gainey - you will forever be by my side







Saturday, September 24, 2016

SAYING GOODBYE TO YOUR DOG



Dogs are incredible souls.

They are gifts.

We don’t have them for long but while we do have them they bless and enrich our lives. They love us from the time we bring them home until the light leaves their eyes and we become so accustomed to having them around that without them our lives become silent and empty.


                                                    Buster (2007-2010) F*ck Cancer

Dogs don’t care if you are fat or skinny, old or young, having a really bad hair day or if you are rich or poor.

They just love you.

They miss you the second you leave the house and they are there to greet you the second you open the door.

They think that the greatest thing in the whole wide world (aside from rawhide) is spending time with you.

They are funny not knowing they are funny and not meaning to be funny.

They each have their own unique personalities and traits. Some like to eat your socks, others your shoes, some bark, some talk and others hump the couch but it seems no matter what they do or destroy, your love for them grows and grows.

A dog is the best kind of friend.

They listen, they don’t talk back, they remain neutral when you are discussing an incident, they let you make your own decisions, they stay by your side when you are sick or sad or both, they give freely of their affection including mega-kisses and they always want to play with you.

They know your deepest darkest secrets. They have seen everything. They protect and guard you and they watch you even when you don’t realize they are watching you.

There’s a light, a sparkle, in their eyes that remains brightly lit. They are forever curious and compassionate and they accept and love you always.

You love your dog and when the time comes for his/her journey to end whether it is prematurely from Cancer or late in their lives from age, you honour and respect them by doing what is best for them - not for you.

For anyone who has held their dog in their arms through his/her very last breaths, you know that there is nothing quite as painful, hurtful and grueling as letting them go.

You would do anything to extend their lives and wish you could keep them forever and ever but they are precious beings that sprinkle some magic ferry dust upon our existence and eventually that dust blows away and goes to a far better place.

Saying goodbye to your dog is the only negative factor in the otherwise over the top love fest that grabs you by the hand and pulls you onto the floor for the dance of a lifetime.



It sways and jives around and around in a warm wonderful circle that makes our lives whole and teaches us about love and how much of it we are capable of giving and sharing.

WHERE DO DOGS GO WHEN THEY DIE?


I have lost several dogs in my lifetime. I can’t convey the pain, the loss, the feeling of hopelessness but I can tell you that through this devastation, I became a believer. Actually I became a crusader. I prayed that some kind of Dog Heaven (such as Rainbow Bridge) existed; I proclaimed it the best place on earth where the most incredible souls roamed – a place too sacred and spiritual for those of human form.


                                                                     BUDDY


One of the things that stuck with me after my dogs were gone was who will take care of them and how will they make it to wherever they go next? After all dogs need to be cared for their entire lives, they don’t grow up and move out and start a life of their own. 

I decided to Google "Doggie Heaven" and “Rainbow Bridge” and I read all this great stuff that other believers had written. Many were keeping in touch with their dogs as if they were skyping with them from earth. They imagined their dogs in this magical, beautiful place where they are eternally young, happy and healthy. All they do is play, eat and sleep ;much like they did here on earth.

I think dogs do deserve their own heaven but at the same time I selfishly wonder whether I will ever be granted a temporary pass so I can see my boys one last time.

I can’t live on rainbows or on stars and I can’t wake up and find my departed dogs by my bedside. I can’t bring them for a run in the woods or a swim in the lake and I can’t admire them from the couch as they sleep on their backs with their legs in the air.

 All I can do is close my eyes and remember their faces and hope that never fades.

I believe in rainbows, I believe in bridges that connect us to the souls we loved in our lifetimes, I believe my dogs miss me as much as I miss them and that if I write their names in the sky, they will see and know I haven’t forgotten them.

What do you believe?



10 THINGS YOUR DOG DOES WHILE YOU ARE AT WORK


10 has sex with various shaped pillows

9 invites friends over to watch Game of Thrones on Netflix

8 tries on your clothes (because he is sick and tired of walking around naked all the time)

7 farts something so awful even he has to clear the room

6 logs onto your  computer for doggy online dating and creates a completely fictitious profile

5 logs onto your computer for YOUR online dating and creates a completely fictitious profile

4 sleeps then awakes at the thought of applying to college and doing something with his life but then realizes that would mean less sleep so forgets about it and goes back to sleep

3 updates his profile on LinkedIn so he can get a job and buy a new Kong

2 unmakes the bed and rubs himself all over the sheets and thinks it's funny

And the #1 THING YOUR DOG DOES WHILE YOU ARE AT WORK:


perfects his “IT WASN'T ME” face for when you walk through the door 



                                         Whisky's "I did not do it" face (it works every time).






WHAT DOES YOUR DOG DO WHEN YOU ARE AT WORK?

YOUR DOG IS ALWAYS THERE FOR YOU


Your dog is there for you
Not sometimes
Not maybe
Not never
But always

He waits for you
He watches you
He is your best friend

And when you are alone
Living alone
A marriage or relationship in the past
Your dog is your present
Your dog is your future

He is your Saturday night date
Your excuse that is not an excuse
For just staying home

He will watch your favorite TV show
He will listen to your ongoing commentary
He will tilt his head and do his best to understand
Whatever dribble is coming from your mouth



                                              R.I.P. Buster 



He will want to share all of the moments of his life
With all the moments of yours
And then he will want more
More than time can give
In the short life he lives

A dog is a gift
He comes and goes
He teaches you to love life
To love unconditionally
To love him
To love yourself
Even if you feel no one else does

There are no stronger feelings
Than those between a dog and his owner
You can say your children
But many will tell you
Their children grow up and move out
Their children start lives of their own

But your dog never starts a life of his own
He only lives one life and that entire life is with you

A dog won’t notice if you gain weight
Or if your hair turns grey
He won’t notice if you can’t fit into your old jeans
Or if your chin doubles

He will sense if you are sad
He will sense if you are lost
Always helping you find your way
Back to yourself

He will have you under his watch
From the moment you meet until the moment you part
Giving you the greatest, purest taste of love
A constant reminder of what we are here for

So kiss your dog
And if he is gone
Think of him
And he will know you are thinking of him
For he is all around you
Making sure you never forget
What love is

And one day
You will be side by side

And he will greet you
As if you went out for groceries
And finally came home

It will be a celebration
Of an unbreakable bond
That flows between you and him
And dances beyond the clouds
Drifts through the sky
And joins you in an everlasting waltz




I AM YOUR DOG AND THIS IS WHAT I KNOW


I know you love me more than you love yourself.

I know that you think of me all day when you are at work and I am at home thinking about you.

I know you would skip a weeknight out because I have been alone all day and weeknights are for me and you.

I know that if I wait on the floor beneath your chair that sooner or later you will drop some food and I will grab it and gobble it down before you can take it away from me.

I know all of your pain and have counted all of your teardrops and I don't like anyone who has hurt you or anyone who may hurt you.

I know you made sacrifices when you rescued me and that you gave me a second chance.

I know that when you came to the shelter I noticed you right away and I wanted you to take me home.

I know that when you saw me in the shelter, you thought I was cute and you heard my story and you felt badly and as much as you wanted to save me you were concerned as to whether you would be the right parent/home for me but you decided to throw caution to the wind and take me with you instead of leaving me behind.


I know that I will be forever grateful for that and your most loyal, loving friend for as long as I live.

I know that I shed all over the place and you have to vacuum every day and wearing black is not a good idea even if you like to wear black.


                                      Buddy


I know that you like to see me first thing in the morning when you awake as much as I like to see you and I know that I wait for you to come home when you are away and it feels like a million years have passed and when you return it is quite simply the greatest thing ever.

I know that when you fill my Kong you fill it not only with cookies and cheese but with love.

I know that the day will come when we will have to part and that where I am going you cannot join me.

I know that I will watch over you and when you pass to the other side I will come and greet you if only for a moment to give you a kiss and thank you for the wonderful life you gave me and then I will return to Rainbow Bridge.

I know that one day we will find ourselves in another place and time. You will be walking along a long and winding country road amidst the fog and I will be there at the next turn and will run into your arms and you will hold me forever in a world where forever exists.

I know that I am in your heart and your soul as you are in mine and that our love began the moment you walked me out of that shelter into the fresh air and rays of the sun that I thought I may never feel again.

I know that you saved me and I know that I saved you.

And that is all I know.

WHAT MY DOG TAUGHT ME ABOUT LIVING IN THE PRESENT


My dog is brilliant and so is yours. Yeah they chase their tails and steal your socks and smell people's butts but they are still far more advanced than you and me in terms of their perception of time and life itself.

 So I  was watching this series on Showtime called "The Big C" (actually quite good) and the main character decided to participate in a "make my life better" type weekend conference (led by the amazing Susan Sarandon).

The metaphor/mission/message was delivered at the start of the weekend with participants receiving knapsacks that they had to fill with large rocks.

They then had to wear the knapsacks on their backs over the course of the weekend until they were able to prove that they had let go of the past - stuff like regrets, broken relationships, money not well spent.

I thought it was kind of cliche until that very night I caught myself doing the usual staring at the ceiling obsessing about the past - break ups, losses, failures and what should I eat for lunch tomorrow  and I realized I myself was carrying around a knapsack filled with rocks.

I needed to figure out a way to remove that knapsack from my aching back so I turned to the source of my joy - to the happiest - go lucky - soul I know - my dog Whisky.

"Whisky - how do you and all the dogs out there manage to live in the present? I mean you are a rescue/shelter dog with a painful past yet you are as happy go lucky as you can get."






First thing he did was open his soulful eyes and look into mine - then he slanted his eyes, showed his teeth and tilted his head (that's his smile), then finally - he spoke:

"Listen you need to chill and enjoy every moment as it comes. Look out the window. Savour every morsel of your food. Play with your Kong and try to get the cookie and peanut butter out of the center. Stop looking in the mirror at your wrinkles and the bags under your eyes and instead chase your tail or get really excited when you come home from work and see me - act as if you have not seen me in a year and every time you see me is an amazing thrill. Love your family and show them that love. Be a loyal and compassionate friend. Be thankful for every morning that you wake up to - run circles around the bed - throw me a high five! And most importantly - forget the past because you are no longer in it,  you are never going back and it has forgotten you."

Then he kissed me, turned over, farted the most wicked fart (I am sure he was smiling although I could not see) and as I lay there, my face covered by the sheets in an attempt to breathe without smelling - I reailzed he was right - I had to start living my life as if each day was my last.

And you know what? The next morning I woke up fueled with a new sense of energy, I chased Whisky around the bedroom, I joined him looking out the window (he kissed the glass - I didn't). I really savoured the taste of my toast and jam as if it was the best food I ever eaten.  I called my Mom on the way to work and told her I loved her. I sent texts out to friends making plans for the weekend and I felt lighter, I felt refreshed as if I had been given a second chance.

The knapsack had been removed from my back. The weight of each and every rock gone.  I was living somewhere between the present and the future where if you think about it; everything really happens.

Moral of the story - Listen to your Dog - he's brilliant.