Monday, August 12, 2019

Oh Loss

They say you can't get one dog to replace another and that is true. But when I lost my black lab Barkley, to aggressive bone cancer, immediately followed by my only brother, also to cancer, I refused to even think about another heartbreak. As I penned their stories for the book I had put off writing for years, the tears flowed and with the tears, came healing.

Then I saw a picture of a little black lab at a local rescue. She was older, grey around her muzzle, dumped at a shelter where she languished for months. Something in me responded--for I  have lived too many years not to know what it is like not be wanted. So I got her, and her lively personality and deep love healed my recent wounds. Then, with a house already full of dog hair, we added a second dog, one who had spent her whole life in a small pen having puppies.

They say you cannot go home again, and perhaps as far as a childhood home, that is true. But what of the memories of other places we hold firm in our mind's eye. Some of them we have a name for, our elementary school, the river where we dove as far out as we could into the dark water, a place where church bells rang. In the Book of Genesis, all are drawn out of fluid chaos by its name, "God called the dry land Earth". Sometimes, the incredibly complex can be summed up in one word. I read in a story that the Inuit Indians have one such word to bring to conceivable life the fear and the awe that possesses them when they see across the ice, the approach of a polar bear. Some things have no words at all, their form remembered only in the etchings of tears.

But of those places, both named and unnamed, there are places you are drawn back to, years later, praying they are not changed, and knowing it will not be so. So it is that I am drawn back, to love, to a couple of rescue dogs that no one else wanted, who surely have already captured my heart.

6 comments:

  1. That's why we love you and your writing. You get things on a level a lot of folks don't even know exists.

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    1. Thank you. On my birthday, husband in another country and Dad forgetting the day, your words made me smile.

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  2. Rescue dogs are the best kind. All of our dogs were rescued, so to speak. Most just showed up at the house and needed a place to live; we always took them in. I think my grandparents had four dogs, all about the same size (30 pounds or so), and all foundlings. One little black spaniel mix showed up at the gas station where I worked as a pump jockey. Another got dropped off in front of the house. The others just showed up, one way or another.

    Lord blessed you with dogs, and I'm happy for you.

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    1. Thank you Mad Jack - I miss our Indy outings but live up here in Chicagoland with the husband is good.

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  3. Happy birthday, my friend. This is the 3rd blog today where Old NFO has already written the words which came to mind when reading the post. And he's nailed what I've been struggling to say about your writing ever since I first clicked a link to your your blog.

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