I'm thinking how often we measure relationships out by using physical, or emotional "markers"....in spoonfuls of gifts--the watches I gave him; the rings he gave me; the events we attended together(were they plays and concerts, or football and baseball games?).
In this relationship,I've measured it in the dogs we've held dear; the nights filled with snuggling animals deciding which of us in the "pack" is more "Alpha" (no mystery here, Hansoo wins every time).Other nights, filled with fear(like the time we rushed "Louie" to a local animal-emergency-clinic because he appeared to be having a heart attack(gasping, his chest heaving with labored breath). It was not. It was something called a "reverse-sneeze". All was well a few hours later.) Some nights were filled with dread(like the night we had to put "Frisco", our sweet Aussie to bed, knowing it was the very last time she'd look us in the eye.(Spleen cancer, spread throughout her body, no chance at life).(Note: This is detailed in in this blog's Archives, January 2008)
The good inherent in having companion animals still outweighs all the hurt we feel, when we lose them to time, and to God.
Saturday's visit to faraway Marietta(actually Kennesaw area), was well worth it, too.
The Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta helps doggies and prospective "parents" everyday, and we were grateful to take our German Shepherd, "Afton" out for a shampoo, and to donate a bit to this great organization made up of even greater folks. We explained we were there to celebrate Louie's life, by donating a few dollars, and supporting their (dog-washing day at Red Bandana Pet Supply Store) event.
I was struck by the compassion immediate in each volunteer as we described adopting "Louie" from GRRA in 1998, all the great times we had with him, and then losing our adopted baby, "Louie" just over a week ago(last Friday, July 2nd).
Saturday was the first day I did not cry.
Even when the volunteers did cry, as I told of singing to "Louie"(I never told them the song was "Lean On Me")as he was put to sleep a final time, I did not cry.
As Hansoo and I drove off, "Afton", still rambunctious from her shampoo looked back.
I'm still trying to go forward.