Last night my husband pulled out a fleece shirt he hadn't worn in a very long time. As he finished adjusting it he realized that there was quite a bit of white hair on it, Jessie hair. We both did our awwww's and then my mind wandered. I imagined her in the yard, thought of the sound that the dog door made when only she went through it and remembered how I use to scoop her up from in between the big dogs. Now just writing this has me stopping and thinking. Thinking is a good thing and we don't give ourselves enough time to just stop and think.
Funny, I'd decided just a few days ago that I need more moments like that. From last December until now things have been very hectic, a lot of changes, a great deal of work and just life in general. It is so very important when you lose a dog to take the time to remember. It was very difficult when we lost Jessie because we were literally on the road. Tilley was a less hectic ordeal but it was still a time of turmoil.
I think about all my dogs who are now gone daily; heck I called Luke, Clyde the other day and it came out like it was the name that was suppose to. I stopped and thought of Clyde for a moment, smiled and then called Luke. As we go through our years bringing new dogs into share our life with us we are constantly growing, learning and experiencing. Over the years a great bond is formed and then lost in the end. But those lost dogs leave such a legacy.
The life lessons that our dogs teach us are so valuable, lasting and priceless. For those lessens are the ones that you will take with you into your next canine relationship making it that much better. It most definitely hurts losing a dog, often too much for some and they can never do it again. But for those who continue to live with dogs through the hurt there is happiness and joy once again. There are lots of memories, so many wonderful memories to think back on. Sometimes a memory will come to the forefront due to a trigger; others need some quiet time and come when you have the time.
I know many people who have lost dogs recently, it is a sad reality that our dogs spend such a short time with us. But that time has such impact if we allow it. There are those who have yet to discover the true heart of a dog but there are many more who have. For those of us who know the true heart of a canine, each and every dog that takes up space in our heart leaves a paw print there. With that paw print comes the life lessons shared between canine and human. These lessons are the most valuable ones because without that shared life together you would never have them.
There are many things that both Jessie and Tilley taught Elsa in their short time together. Just the other day I put a few ice cubes that had fallen on the floor into the water bowl. I left the room and came back about 5 minutes later to see Elsa taking all the ice cubes out. I watched in amazement because this is what Tilley did with the kiddie pool. I clearly remember Elsa watching Tilley intently one day and taking it all in. I reached over and put them back into the bowl and Elsa took them out again. I took that moment to remember Tilley. Elsa was a very lucky girl to have known her even for the short time that she did.
So as Steve picked some of the hairs off of his shirt I smiled knowing that there are so many more. Those little hairs are woven into all of us, but she left far more than white hairs here with us. Jessie left us all, all who knew her, lessons that only she could teach us. Like all the others who have come before her and will come in the future, they all have great volumes to teach us and they only have a short time to do it in.