An old dog, with a new haircut...
This is my Buddy... One does not realize the impact a dog can have on your life...my dog was my companion, my confidant, my therapist .... a friend...
I miss him terribly.
When you bring a dog into your life, you begin a journey. A journey that will bring you more love and devotion than you have ever known, yet will also test your strength and courage. If you allow it, the journey will teach you many things, about life, about yourself, and most of all, about love. You will come away changed forever, for one soul cannot touch another without leaving its mark.
Along the way, you will learn much about savoring life's simple pleasures --jumping in leaves, snoozing in the sun, the joys of puddles, and even the satisfaction of a good scratch behind the ears. If you spend much time outside, you will be taught how to truly experience every element, for no rock, leaf, or log will go unexamined, no rustling bush will be overlooked, and even the very air will be inhaled, pondered, and noted as being full of valuable information.
Your pace may be slower, except when heading home to the food dish, but you will become a better naturalist, having been taught by an expert in the field. Too many times we hike on automatic pilot, our goal being to complete the trail rather than enjoy the journey. We miss the details: the colorful mushrooms on the rotting log, the honeycomb in the old maple snag, the hawk feather caught on a twig.
Once we walk as a dog does, we discover a whole new world. We stop; we browse the landscape, we kick over leaves, peek in tree holes, look up, down, all around. And we learn what any dog knows: that nature has created a marvelously complex world that is full of surprises, that each cycle of the seasons bring ever changing wonders, each day an essence all its own.
You will learn the true measure of love. The steadfast, undying kind that says, "It doesn't matter where we are or what we do, or how life treats us as long as we are together." Respect this always. It is the most precious gift any living soul can give another. You will not find it often among the human race.
You will learn humility. At times Buddy would look at me and I felt shamed... He felt such joy and love with my presence.. He did not see the flawed human who could be cross and stubborn, moody or rude, but only his wonderful companion. Or maybe he saw those things and dismissed them as mere human foibles, not worth considering, and so chose to love me anyway. If you pay attention and learn well, when the journey is done, you will be not just a better person, but the person your pet always knew you to be. The one they were proud to call beloved friend.
Like all paths of true love, the pain is part of loving. For as surely as the sun sets, one day your beloved dog will go down a trail that you are unable to follow....you will need to find the strength and love to let go...
We only borrow our pets for a short while... it baffles me how fast that time goes. During those brief years they give us all their love, every inch of their heart and spirit until one day there is nothing left. That young puppy of yesterday now wakes up stiff and lame, grey muzzle and cloudy eyed.
Deep down we somehow always knew that this journey would end. We knew that if we gave our hearts they would be broken. But give them we must for it is all they ask in return. When the time comes, and the road curves ahead to a place we cannot see, we give one final gift and let them run on ahead, young and whole once more. "God speed, good friend," we say, until our journey comes full circle and our paths cross again. *
Buddy... December 1993 - March 2008 - Forever in my heart.
*labrynth, absent friends