MY DOG SKIP
is a great movie about a boy and his dog. . .
It’s mostly a story about award winning writer, Willie Morris and his dog
GROWING UP. . .
Our dog, Mollie died this past Thursday without much warning or notice and it’s like watching and re-watching a gut wrenching movie or at least their worst tear-jerking scenes on an endless loop. . .
She’s been ever present for nearly the last 14 years of our lives bringing all of the things we say our dogs, our pets bring so abundantly and even more, so unconditionally.
I’ve heard it said that grief is love that doesn’t have a place to go. None of us likes grieving; none of us likes what it makes us feel or do because it usually means that we’ve lost the greatest loss of all: Somebody or Something that we’ve loved deeply, intimately and if we’re lucky, unconditionally, too.
I often wax poetically at a funeral when I say there is no grief, there is no hurt, no sense of loss, no pain; never any tears unless there’s a love much deeper than all those things put together that even made the grief possible. . . That’s a gift, and to be sure, it can’t be ordered from Amazon; you don’t wanna wrap that up and put it under Christmas tree or make sure you save it for a special anniversary or birthday or give merely as a JUST BECAUSE… and yet it is a gift, the best kind of all, isn’t it?
Molly of nearly 14 years is the pet among the so many cats, gecko’s, rat, and another dog we ever had the longest. We talked about the day when she would no longer be with us because of some here and there health issues but you can never fully prepare for IT; being a hospice chaplain since 1994 has taught me that along with some of the close family members and friends who have died. Still, it’s ripped our hearts out without a scalpel or at least a very dull one.
No, she just wasn’t a dog so much more than that; fully accepting, unconditionally loving and always couldn’t wait to greet you and anybody else that came in to her presence. She was a rescue dog; our son found her at a party one night. She was in a milk crate and and maybe not so much abused as neglected. He complained to the owner, “You can’t keep a dog like that and if you won’t let her out, I’ll take her.” The owner said he didn’t really want her, to go ahead and take her. When he brought her home he never told us at first; she was down in the basement and of course we heard her and went down to check out the situation. He convicted me. Used my words. “Dad, you always told me when you were in a bad situation you can’t leave until you make it better not worse. I couldn’t leave her that way.” She was emaciated, cowering, afraid and always wanted to be in your presence; never wanted to be left alone. And for that reason she never needed a leash, no matter where we’d be in the yard or walking down the street she would always be right there with us, never running away, never leaving.
She would be the first to greet you when your car pulled into the driveway or when you walked into the back door and we would often think after a long day or a tiring week the Peace was her laying in between us as I would sit on a chair and Erin on the couch. Part of that peace was that Love; it was as if she couldn’t rest each night at the side of her our bed unless she was sure you knew it, experienced it.
FALLING IN LOVE IS LIKE OWNING A DOG
First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?
On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block
and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions
at once, or wind itself around and around you
until you’re all wound up and you cannot move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.
Mali. Taylor. “How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog.” What Learning Leaves. Write Bloody Books.
I don’t know what your idea of Heaven is; I’ve come to believe from so many people’s experiences or expectations that whatever they think it is, IT IS. Maybe we all be instantly in the presence of loved ones or those that have gone before us. Me? I believe instantaneously I’ll be in the presence of the One who created me, those I’ve loved and have been loved by and. . .I kind of think I’ll know I’m in heaven when I see her running down the street (THAT STREET) like she did so many times when she’d meet us coming backing from an errand or a walk; so excited to see me, tail wagging, yelping in joy, barking as I hug others because she wants hugged and attention, too; welcoming me home, HOME, and not so much expecting, well, what might’ve brought her so much as what she can’t wait to give me. . but what they can’t wait to give me. . .Hmmmmmmmmmm, yeah, HEAVEN!
In the meantime, we are comforted by the kindnesses of our family, friends and the neighbood kids who adopted her as their own and companion us in carrying our grief and love. . .
No, there won’t be any be a memorial service; no celebration of life ceremony–they’ll be ongoing countless ones; each being more special than the last one but all of them being ongoing for our ever’s. . .
Last Summer, Erin found this rock down at the Lake and immediately brought it home and with little effort made it look like Molly. We didn’t know then what we feel now; but we assuredly know the only thing that’s stronger more enduring than Rock, is LOVE. . .May rich Peace she brought to us and so many now be that profound Peace she’ll enjoy for an ever more as she crosses the Rainbow Bridge but never out of our hearts. . .Our greatest takeaway: if Molly, never Just A Dog, can show Compassion, Empathy, Kindness, Care, Acceptance, Unconditional Love, what about Mutts like us?
SPEAK I would tell her and she would with tail wagging like an airplane propellor making you soar higher than you expected. I never told her to HEAL I never had to; it’s what she just did (repeatedly)