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.
Today I have been reflecting on how much I love what I do and who I get to spend time with throughout my day, every day. Each of you, my furry and feathered clients (and the little rodents too!) make my days amazing ... we have wonderful conversations, some (very) funny moments, and I get to watch you grow and flourish into amazing animals as a result of the love and guidance from your human companions.
I used to work in the corporate sector for many years. While I enjoyed my work and those I worked with, I always felt like I was not following my passion which is animals. Through circumstances and a lot of hard work, I started this little company in 2006 (I can't believe it has been this many years now!) As any small business owner will attest, we start our small businesses because we have a passion, we love to work with people (and in my case animals), and we do it because we believe we can make a difference.
While I am thankful throughout the year, at this time of year I like to say a special thank you to my furry, scaly, and feathered friends and their human companions - I love that I get to spend time with your loved ones ... so thank you.
Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and an amazing new year ahead ... Anne
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.
Well ... the rain is here to stay for a little while. I have dug out my rain pants and my rain boots - the shorts are put away for another season. The leaves are falling and it is beautiful with the soft rain (and sometimes not so soft amidst some of the torrential downpours of this last week.
I love the personalities that come out from my canine pals once the rain starts. Some of my dogs absolutely love the rain - they leap for puddles, prance around with joy, bark at the leaves, and just generally have a good time - these guys especially love the towel off at the end. And then there is the one's that the last thing they want to do is get their paws wet. In fact, I think they would be happier if I carried them through the entire walk and just let them down to do their business. I have this one adorable guy that makes wide circles around puddles and jumps and the ripples in the puddles when the rain hits. I smile and calm his fears and we have a talk.
My dogs certainly change a little the wetter it gets - some get more frisky and others have no interest in being outside when it rains - and it all makes me smile ... they have their own personalities and I get to enjoy each one of them, one-on-one, just me and my pal. Another great week.
Yesterday I was starting to feel stronger - my cold symptoms were decreasing ... still not 100% but getting there. The e-mails from customers wishing me well were wonderful. I have this one customer who is extraordinarily thoughtful - they adopted this wonderful dog, a rescue dog, about a year and half ago. I've had the pleasure of walking this adorable gal this whole time. When I arrived at their home yesterday to walk my pal, I found this note wishing me well beside a butter horn pastry from their neighbour. I had wonderful walk with my gal, in beautiful autumn weather ... still wearing my shorts.
I walk this adorable dog who loves the rain. I would almost think that she waits for it longingly and when it comes - she gets extra happy, lifting her nose up to the rain, welcoming it. She prances a little more, her tail wags a little more, and her eyes brighten. Her favorite part of the walk is the end, when she comes home, and the towel is waiting.
She absolutely loves getting toweled off - she shows so much joy, and runs in circles around me, and talks and talks and talks. She wiggles and her tail wags, and she tells me how much she loves it. Later on, I started thinking about what we all wish for, what we all want, and we always think of the next best thing ... and I wonder if it should really be as simple as lifting our head to the rain, being grateful for a dry towel, and a warm house, and someone to share the moment with. Have a great weekend!
"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as much as the dog does."