And Then I Cried

It’s different these days, how we communicate with one another about significant events in our lives. Five or ten years ago we would be re-connecting with an old friend over the phone, and – in answer to an innocent question – find that our friend had lost a parent, or a pet, or – God forbid – a child. Our innocent question would, in our mind, bring the pain of the loss to the surface again and we felt terrible that we had brought it back. But we, ourselves, were a bit distanced from it – it was old news we were hearing – sad, but past.

Today, we sign in to Facebook , open our email,  get a Tweet or check a blog post and the news is there, raw and immediate, someone that we care about has lost a loved one. Last week. Yesterday. Now.

In my world, it’s often a pet. Maybe a foster dog, or a dog that we were trying to save, or a dog that we couldn’t save, but often a dog. No one in my world tells us “it’s just a dog…” in my world we know the devastation that comes with losing a source of unconditional love, that comes with losing a companion that doesn’t question our motives on ANYthing, that comes with losing a friend who is ready for a walk, or a nap, or a movie – just because we are ready and they want to share.

In the last few weeks, I have found that several dear friends have lost one of their best friends.

Sharee – her Aussie Kookee was one of those bossy, slightly dog-aggressive family members that limited her ability to foster homeless pups. I never met Kookee, but I knew Sharee (online) and what Sharee valued, I also valued. I saw the words on Facebook that Kookee had died suddenly – pancreatitis, maybe – and without warning. Sitting in my office at work,  I cried.

Several days later and another quick peek into Facebook I see Jasper – 3 year old Jasper – hit by a car, internal injuries, crushed pelvis, fighting for life. Jasper, the bouncy buoyant puppy who was Kathy’s “next dog” and Maize’s companion – we played together at agility trials, I had touched that sweet soft fur, thrown a ball – so precious, so alive. He didn’t make it. And I cried.

Totally unexpected was Lucy – little Lucy in Georgia, a sickly little dog that the breeder couldn’t sell but who ended up with a Momma named Carla who had an iron clad devotion to her and her kind. After an extremely difficult breeder surrender situation in her area – a trial by fire for MARS – Carla chose to join us in our mission to help the Mini Aussies. I’ve yet to meet Carla face to face, but I know that Lucy was the reason we got to be friends and I cried when I read she was gone.

Two of my friends are going through the pain of losing a cherished pet as I type these words, and while I can’t be there with them, I hope that they know I’m there. Quigley, the sweetest little dog, merged into their “pack” as if he had been there forever. Unfortunately, Trish called me to say that forever wasn’t very long.

And then I cried.

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