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"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Comes a time...

There comes a time when a decision is made that you know will change your life.
That was the day I got Griffin.
Picked from a litter of 13 puppies sprawling about on a lawn, 12 years ago.

My choice to wait to have a dog again was a very conscious one.
The last dog I owned I had to give up due to work schedule and basically bad timing.
It was very difficult for me but more difficult was that it broke my 8 year old daughters heart.
The dog ended up in a beautiful home in the country and was well loved for the rest of her life but then and there I decided that I would never again take on a dog unless I had the time and the space.
Forward 12 years later...  here I sit looking at my poor Griff who now has lung cancer.
The most difficult part of having a true animal companion is saying goodbye.
This comes with the territory.
It's the price you pay for the tremendous joy they give you.
But nothing can prepare you for such a passage.
My world has evolved around this black, scruffy dog.
My days are timed for his walks, his meals and his many idiosyncrasies.

Although sometimes it has felt like an inconvenience, it has filled my life with purpose.
And meaning.
And adventure.
And friendship.


And so many hours of deep, meaningful, silent communication with him.
So many miles of rambles, scrambles, climbs and strolls.
He never was the kind to run off ahead, always sticking close by not
out of fear but out of the bond we shared.
Never one to complain.
Friend to all.
Water was his element.

I am his.
He is mine.
A shadow to each other.
Walking in each others footsteps.
There are times when he looks at me through wise, dog eyes for long moments.
What I would give to know the thoughts inside that lovely soul.

But I think I can tell some of them.
He is full of love. That simple.
An unconditional kind that we humans can never know.

His sensitivities run deep.
There was a time here when we were burying one of our goats and Tom had dug a
fairly big hole. He had worked at it for hours. After we put the goat in the hole the two
of us started to shovel back in the dirt that was piled up in several small piles
around the edge. And there in the silence of that process Griffin started to nose his
own small pile into the hole, helping us fill the grave.
If anyone ever says something like
"it's just a dog"... don't even bother responding.
If you've ever had a companion like I know different.

This was written about a week before Griffin passed away.
After a very rough night he spent the day laying in the spring sun.
His battle with lung cancer was done and the vet came and we put him to rest on the couch.
I hope his dreams were full of swims in the river, snowy treks on old logging roads,
long rambles in the woods, runs on sandy beaches, big breakfasts and steak dinners.
But mostly that we were the last faces he saw before he closed his eyes.
His people who loved him well.
Sweet dreams my bud.

(a special wag to Frank and Irma...faithful companions of the road, trespassers extraordinaire)


Suz said...

oh the painful loss you share with us
What a gorgeous soul-filled dog
I can see in his eyes that he was loving and wise
What a privilege to hold him while he passed over
where all of our beloved companions go
and much sympathy

gz said...

xx ((hug))

Mairéad said...

So sorry to read this. It's always a hard choice but it's the final act of kindness we can do for our pets. They leave their footprints on our hearts forever. Take care. X

Janet Davis said...

My condolences.

farmlady said...

I'm heartbroken, Kerry. He was part of you. You were a part of him. My sadness reaches up to you and hugs you. You sadness gave us a beautiful tribute to a wonderful dog soul.
Goodbye Griff.

Anonymous said...

I know your pain, last week I had to put down my darling Jake when his epilepsy got the better of him. I take comfort in the fact he won't suffer any more but there is a huge void left in my life. Sincere condolences.

Annie Cholewa said...

So, so sorry you have had to say goodbye to your friend. We have six dogs here, the latest in a long line of canine companions and including a whippet called Griffin, and I think it's safe to say that I recognise everything you wrote here.

Run free beautiful hound.

Nancy Kay said...

Oh, so sorry. This is just so beautiful though, your tribute to your buddy. It brings big ol' tears to my eyes, probably because it brings back those memories of losing my own little "buddies." It's not easy. But they bring one so much joy!

Acornmoon said...

I am reading this with a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat. Nothing can prepare you for this parting. X