Monday, June 24, 2013

Magical Moment 627, "Shadow"

A few weeks ago, I assisted my family in around the clock care for the family dog, Shadow. He had been diagnosed with canine lymphoma and was getting close to his final days. We made an effort for someone to be nearby at all times in case of an emergency.

Though Shadow was in his final stages, our family was only beginning to understand that after 11 years, inevitably we would no longer see his powerful, wagging tail when we entered the house, or hear his deep bark that a stranger would mistake for ferocious, but would soon learn it was only a friendly ‘hello.’

I began to think about these things one day as I ran the bike trail. The song “Awake My Soul” by Mumford and Sons came on my iPod. And my thoughts turned to my Sheltie of 14 years, Duchess, whose passing broke my heart 4 years ago. There is no easy way to lose a pet or any loved one and I wondered how my family would get through Shadow’s passing.

I came to a fork in the road - either go back home, or run an extra 3 miles - that day I chose to run the extra 3. When I came to the end of my path finally, I saw a woman walking her dog in the distance coming towards me. As she got closer, I squinted to make out the dog…it was a Sheltie. Of all the breeds in all the world, today I would see a Sheltie, a breed of dog you rarely see. I kneeled, and petted, and chatted, and smiled. That moment meant a great deal to me as I know it was not merely a chance encounter that day.

Everyone has experienced a great loss of some kind. But in those moments of loss and grief, we can always find something beautiful or significant within them. My Duchess waited for me to get home from work before she passed in my arms. When I learned of my Grandpa’s death, I was in church, sitting next to my best friend. These things are not accidents. They are gifts, orchestrated by the Creator of the Universe to help ease our pain. Because He feels pain when we do. And He cares so deeply for us, for our loved ones, for our pets, for the sparrow that falls to the ground. How painful life would be without His love.

Shadow Daugherty 2002-6/22/2013

"In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die. Where you invest your love, you invest your life." 
-Mumford & Sons



TexWisGirl said...

oh, so sweet. and, yes, a grief that hits hard as they are truly family.

i am sorry for the loss of your family pet.

Linda said...

This is a truly beautiful post, Elizabeth. Shadow was blessed to be part of a family who loved him so much.

I made me think of Joy. Did she make the trip to Georgia with you?

Dottie said...

Beautiful thoughts, beautifully written, Beth.

Rae said...

Beautifully written. Your words touched my heart.

Hilary said...

Hugs to you, Elizabeth. I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Shadow. You wrote a very beautiful post here.

DJan said...

Sending you hugs and feeling your loss in my own heart. Someone once told me that having a pet is a contract with grief. But it's also a contract with love, and that doesn't ever ever leave. Sending you some love, too. :-)

Gary's third pottery blog said...

Oh what a sweetie, so sad! Thank you for sharing such a tremendously emotional post.

Busy Bee Suz said...

What a beautiful post. You have the gift of finding blessings in loss....and I will remember that in the future as well.

The Furry Gnome said...

That is a busy life you've had! Glad to see you back with your beautiful writing.

Rick said...

"... for you were made to meet your Maker".

It's a sad fact that death is also a part of life. Losing a pet is losing a part of your family. So sorry to hear that you had to lose Shadow.

I played that song as soon as I started reading your post - very appropriate. We see our beloved Sasha also showing signs of age - her hips are getting quite weak - and the day will inevitably come when we have to part.

Thank you for a heartfelt post.

Michael Manning said...

So heartfelt, Elizabeth. Shadow really loved you from what you've written here. You're right, there are no accidents with the Good Lord! I am sorry for your loss.