There is not a lot I claim to know, but I do know a thing or two about the companionship of dogs and the impact it can have on a human life. Those of you who have service dogs or volunteer dogs see this every day. And those of you who simply live with them, share a space and walk with them know it, too. They can be frustrating and tiring, demanding and needy, but nothing on this planet will ever love you as honestly and unabashedly or more than your dog. Their companionship, the soft warm spot they make next to you on your bed, or the way they lean into you when it seems no one else is there for you more than makes up for the January nights standing outside waiting for them to puke, or the occasional accidents you have to clean up. Some people claim that God is dead or doesn't exist but I am witness to a divine and uncompromising love each and every time I open my door and am greeted by Duncan.
I have been a silent follower of the blog Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Bacon for only a short time, but in that brief period I grew to love Abbey, the Golden who resided there and the voice of her human, Wendy. I was sad to learn of Abbey's passing last week and have been moved by the outpouring of grief and support Wendy has received. Her most recent post displayed a picture that touched me deeply and I wanted to share it here because I think it speaks volumes about this world we inhabit and the connections we make along the way.
As I told Wendy in the comment I left her the other day, this is a big world full of strangers and challenges, hardships we can't imagine, but somewhere along the way, if we open our hearts we can make a connection with other kindred spirits and take solace in each others company, even if only briefly. Venturing out alone can be a frightening prospect, but when we invite another spirit to walk alongside us our entire perspective can be forever changed. Even long after they have gone their presence will still move us and guide us and ensure that we are never alone.
There has not been a day since I first held him and he winked at me that I have not been grateful for Duncan. I try as hard as I can not to take him for granted and remind myself, even when I'm exhausted, that he is a blessing The Universe has bestowed on me, a partner who is there whenever I need him, who is ecstatic to be at my side even when it is not convenient for him, who loves me fiercely and loyally. I am fortunate to have good friends and an incredible, supportive family, readers who have walked so many miles with us and have grown to love Duncan almost as much as I do. Yet there is nothing I own or could own that will ever be as beautiful as the bond I share with my dog. I can't begin to imagine the depth of Wendy's grief and try not to think about the day I will have to say farewell to Roo, but I know that I am a better person for having been fortunate enough to share a brief period of my life with such an open and loving soul. And I hope Wendy is able to feel the same way.
It is a big world but a somehow a good dog makes it so much better.
Bless you on your journey Abbey, and bless you Wendy for being such a good friend to your girl.