Today marks the one year anniversary since I buried my very best friend.
In this world we don’t choose what moves us, what pains us, what pleases us. We are inspired beyond our recognition and loss is not something that can be articulated until you feel the whole of it. I have spent the last year feeling the ache, dull at times, but other times much more acute as a sharp pang of her absence. Christmas morning when her stocking hung empty. Nights when I could only hear the rise and fall of one dog’s chest as he slept soundly, not the unison of two. Her Easter basket collected dust with her faded name-tag still attached from last year.
And I’m sure many of you are thinking it’s just a dog.
But the truth is it doesn’t matter what it is – a dog, a person, a book, a song – all of these things have the power to provide strength and meaning to your life in tough times. For me, people continually disappoint me. Humanity has wreaked havoc on each other, they fight and slander in politics, and sadly, countless hate crimes and acts of terrorism trickle daily on the news feed on TV. And even more tragic, the people nearest and dearest say and do things to intentionally cause pain. But my dogs – they have not once disappointed me.
Miah was my source of ‘happy’ for ten whole years. She and Ivan gave me reason to push through long days, an excuse to take to the couch to cuddle, and forced me to rise from my grief and take a walk for fresh air when life just got to be too damn much.
So the long and short of it, today I am more confident in saying that it was she who rescued me. Over and over again. And in the final months when she needed the most help, I was happy to be her legs and to spend each night assigned to providing her comfort. Sleepless nights didn’t mean a thing if I could return the favor of years that she gave me peace when I needed it most.
In my mind she is now whole again. She has her legs, all working simultaneously to chase rabbits and fox through green pastures. She plays with her toys and can run endlessly after her favorite ball. And though I would give the world to see her again, take her gorgeous head in my hands and kiss her beautiful face, I’m just grateful that I was given the chance to do it at all.
Miah, my darling girl, I miss you every minute of every day. Keep playing, keep running, and someday we will play together again.