I want to first and foremost thank Clay and Elizabeth for allowing me to come into their home and document this very emotional time for them. I realize that being a dog owner will bless you with some of the happiest days of our life and also one of our worst.
It is something that all dog owners eventually will experience sooner or later and it never gets easy.. NEVER!
Champ was diagnosed with cancer recently and these guys are still trying to cope with his diagnosis as well as appreciate the time that they do have left with him .. It could be days, weeks or months.. but I do know that no matter how much time we do have with our furry companions, it is never long enough.
I broke all rules of being a 'professional' and found myself crying off and on throughout the session.. so my apologies.
The purpose of documenting this time was not to pretend that everything is pretty and perfect.. but to honor and remember Champ while he is here with them and that he is loved always and forever.
Sometimes people want to avoid any grief or sadness but I think more individuals should face these emotions head on. It connects you to humanity and it is what makes us human.
During Champs session we reminisced a little on his life journey. He was part of so much with these guys. From his early puppy years to the beginning of their relationship, their ventures in college, graduation, their wedding day, moving into their first home, starting their careers.
That is when they proceeded to show me a photo from their wedding day that I had forgotten that I took. Champ sat proudly between Elizabeth and Clay with a big smile.. Mouth open, tongue hanging out and the look that they all could conquer the world as they embraced one another.
I again, proceeded to cry. By now it was probably my 3rd or 4th time to tear up.. I again apologized as we took a small moment to regain composure.
I am going to keep all these guys in my thoughts and prayers as they try to embrace, comfort and appreciate the final days of their beloved. I know that this was not an easy session to face but I do hope that they will remember this time as a time for reflecting and also as a reminder that life is short, it is precious and most importantly.. it is fleeting.
'Until one has loved an animal, a part of ones soul remains unawakened. - Anatole France
Oh how it kills me to write this post. We have lost another beloved pet to a very close friend of ours. The hardest part about being so connected to these amazing animals is that we often, more times than not.. outlive them. It doesn't matter how long they are here, it's never quite long enough.
Twelve years is a very good life and I knew time was on her side as her health began to fade over the past few months but it is something that no one can ever prepare for.
Mabel became a fixture to many of those who would frequent the loft. She never failed to greet guest at the door with a wagging butt and a welcoming dance. She was a part of so many chapters for all that came to know her over the years.
Losing Mabel in the 'band' family can be compared to that of losing a part of the glue that holds things together.. or a key note to a song.. Without her presence, I feel that there is a missing piece to the puzzle.
This is why I find it so important to take a moment and reflect on her life.. on the laughter she brought to many.. the way she would talk to guest with her howl and agree to wear anything from hats to sunglasses. Her eyes were always full of expression and with one look, she knew how to melt the heart of many.
If love could have saved her.. she would have lived forever! Rest easy sweet girl.. you will forever be in my heart, and my memory.
Date: Thursday July 20, 2017
Hi! I called earlier this week and was asking about a Found dog.. Her ID# is 187971 .
They said she had not been claimed and are waiting for further evaluation of her disposition and also her health.
Would you be kind enough to keep me updated if she will be available for adoption in the near future? I volunteer once a week on Monday and would love to meet her if able.
Thank you in advance,
That was the email I had sent to the GBHS the day I first laid eyes on Millie. Her picture was so sad and it appeared she had no confidence or any feeling of self-worth. She was all skin and bones with big, sad droopy eyes. Weighing in at 31 lbs, Her head looked too heavy for her to lift compared to that of her frail, weak body.. so she hung it down low as if it were dragging the ground.. and her tail was tucked tightly between her hind legs.
She looked as though she was just waiting on someone to be her voice.. speak up for her and give her a chance.. I wasn't looking to get another dog.. The extra expense, the time needed, how would Lola react.. would they get along? It really wasn't in my plan.. but then again.. how many people actually feel that caring for a dying dog is part of a plan.. NO.. it's not.. It's a moral obligation.. and I felt because I saw her photo and I felt convicted over this image that it was my duty to act..
So I did.
This past year seemed to fly by all too fast as Millie transitioned into our family. I often wondered this past year if she will ever be a normal, fearless and carefree pup and after our full year together my conclusion is.. she is as close to it as she will ever be.
Millie still has tremendous fear of people and will often stop mid-stance or slow to a dead stop until any unknown individuals pass us by. I wait alongside with her until she is ready to start walking again.
I find that she is very loyal to those who she has learned to love and trust. She never leaves my side when at home and when in public locations. I am able to take her off lead at many of the hiking trails we frequent as she is always a step behind me. She is too fearful to stray too far from me and I feel that she finds most of her confidence when she is with me or our other pup, Lola.
Lola and Millie seriously have become inseparable. I feel that Lola has started to rely on Millie as much as Millie has to Lola. They will spend all evening on the couch taking turns licking one another's eyes and face.. and often play a nice game of tug with one another and the long rope toy they share.
Not having a plan to get Millie has been one of the BEST PLANS I've ever had.
I would love to wish a Happy One Year to Millie as this is when I truly feel her life began.