This is Elsa and I last summer - she loves giving kisses - We've had the pleasure of walking Elsa since she found her forever family a little over 18 months ago. When I said goodbye to her on Thursday after our walk, I would never have thought it was going to be the last time I was going to see this beautiful soul.
I was sitting at our kitchen table with my partner mid-day on Sunday - our gal Indy was outside enjoying the sun ... nose in the air, taking in all the smells of the coming spring when our phone rang.
I answered it immediately - upon hearing the news, my heart sank, and tears started rolling down my face. Elsa's parents had to make the brave decision that all of us who love our dogs, cats, and critters, dread, but know that it is inevitable. What we don't expect, ever, is that this heartbreaking decision is made when our loved one is only two years old.
For Elsa's brief life, she was surrounded by so much love, kindness and consistency ... she had the best human parents any dog could ask for. I am grateful that I got to share part of Elsa's life with her and get to know her human parents. As a dog walker, especially because I focus on one-on-one dog walking, there is lots of talking and attention - I get to know each of my doggy clients individually and love them all so much ... so when we lose one, a little piece of me goes with them.
Rest in peace sweet girl ... I wish you an unending supply of carrots and celery and pools and beaches and lots of other doggy friends to play with.
Recently, a friend sent me a link to a letter written by Fiona Apple to her fans regarding the cancellation of her tour so that she could remain at home with her beloved dog, Janet, through Janet's final journey. I have to admit, I had never heard of Fiona Apple until now, let alone any kind of familiarity with her music; however, her letter to her fans brought me to tears.
Our animal companions give of themselves completely, unconditionally, and with unbounded enthusiasm. It is hard to describe the absolute joy created within this bond. At the same time, we know that the time we have is finite and far too brief. I have had the honour of being present in the months, weeks, and days leading up to both my own furry kids' transitions but also those of some of my customers beloved pets.
There is no way to describe what it feels like, before, during, and after our loved ones transition - there is the knowing look and gentle touch from those who have been there before. From the moment we bring our loved once home from where ever we find eachother ... we know what awaits, yet wouldn't trade a single moment of the joy we share with our furry pals.
Here is Fiona's letter - it is worth the read.
"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as much as the dog does."