"Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love..."~Erica Jong
Friday the 7th May was my birthday. It was an amazing day but while I was out and about celebrating this wonderful day, at the back of my mind, I keep thinking of Nellie, our 13-year-old Ridgeback x, sick at home. She hadn't been sick for long. By Thursday night she didn't even attempt to eat or even protect her food. I phoned the vet and booked the first available appointment....Friday afternoon @ 4;30pm.
Time has a way of speeding up when you don't want to face what you know needs to be faced.
Patti was amazing, she kindly listened to the story of what we though was wrong, we were under no illusions thinking that Nellie would come home; you always hope you are wrong.
Our primal instinct is to survive! but....
“The further I wake into this life, the more I realize that God is everywhere and the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond, and music is in both the flowing violin and the water dripping from the drainage pipe. Yes, God is under the porch as well as on top of the mountain, and joy is in both the front row and the bleachers, if we are willing to be where we are.”
― Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening (1999)
Hearing there was no hope, was devastating. We were given the option to stay with her while Patti administered the injection or leave her with them. My heart was torn, I couldn't breathe at the enormity of the decision I had to make. I decided we should stay, the thought of leaving her with strangers felt overwhelmingly cruel.
On a blanket, in calmness and peace, I sobbingly kissed her on her mouth, saying my good-bye. Thanking her for her presence and protection. Gently we lay her down. I cradled her head in my arms, lovingly stroking her until she left. I knew the exact moment she left....her body felt much,... much lighter.
It's hard to explain the physicality of it all!
My later reflection of this moment is this; a dog's nature is love. I have come to this conclusion; the heaviest part of a dog is the amount of love it can hold in its body!
I allow moments like this to draw me to the "nature of life". Infinite LOVE's Divine Presence. Like my dog, I want love to be my natural response to everything.
Nellie, I want to thank you for showing me what it looks like to be love's presence and I hope when my days are up, my soul is heavy with love too.
Love exists only for love. The invitation of love is not a proposal for self-improvement or any other kind of achievement. Love is beyond success and failure, doing well or doing poorly. There is not even a right and wrong way. Love is a gift. One can never be proud of being in love. One can only be grateful.”
― Gerald G. May, The Awakened Heart