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Monday, August 01, 2011

Is It Ever Just A Dog?

By Rubydad

Grief is a bleak, colorless world. The only thing that feels alive in it is our heartbreak, stirred awake each time we forget that Ruby is gone and pick up the leash, add fresh meat to the shopping list, set aside a crumb on the plate, expect to find her waiting inside the front door, or wonder why we don’t hear her bark when Christie starts up across the street. It is hard to believe she is not just around the corner, somewhere out of sight, snoozing or stretching herself before coming to greet us.

Yet we are immeasurably grateful to have found deep comfort in the posts, emails, cards, flowers and visits from so many of you. Our Ruby had legions of admirers, in whom she seemed to bring out the best. She could look a stranger in the eye, wiggle her butt, do puppy paws and make that person feel like they were the most loved being on the planet. She transformed me from a lifelong cat lover into a doting, eyes-for-her-only daddy who now never even looks at a cat. Except to try to find one for her, something she always wanted.

And here’s the thing. As special as she was, the reason she appealed to hundreds of clients, friends, fellow dog persons, Facebook and blog followers and thousands of people she met only briefly on a trail, at the creek, outside a supermarket or elsewhere, is that she spoke a common language we all understand.

All dogs speak it. To say that Ruby was not unique in no way diminishes my appreciation of her. The beauty of sunrise will always come second for me to the light in her eyes.

Every dog has a different job to do with its own people. Some excel at affection, some at guarding, some at intuiting the needs of others, some at clowning or problem-solving or a host of other skills. Every one allows us to love it as best we are able, and considers that sufficient. Each in his or her own way shares the same precious gifts that Ruby gave us.

We know all of you have experienced the amazing and profound wonder that we have: a dog has loved you unconditionally. A dog has seen you for who you really are, not in the least distracted by your personality, your mood, or however imperfectly you may sometimes behave.

The thousand daily sweetnesses we held so dear – look at the way she cocks her ear; see how she’s lying with one paw underneath her; look how cute she stands when she’s eating; ohhhh, she’s rolling on her ba-ack; her soft head on our laps, her deep contentment in the tent; the feel of her downy cheeks; the soothing, all-is-right-with-the-world sigh as she stretched out peacefully for a delicious nap – these and hundreds more we know you understand too. Even that irresistibly perfect spot to kiss her on her third eye…

Friends have said so many kind, insightful things to ease our journey. They “got” Ruby because she got them, and because their own dog or dogs get them too. As one friend said the other day, the bond we share with our dogs is every bit a beautiful love affair. We never forget, we never completely get over it, and always, we remember those precious moments.


Sue said...

That was beautifully stated. I've always had dogs and had to say goodbye to so many, but each and every one of them owns a piece of my heart and is daily in my thoughts. The ones who went before have made me a better person for the ones who share my life now.

Ruby's Mum said...

Sue, that is so beautifully expressed, and so very true.

Curt Rogers said...

Thank you for loving her as much as you did. And for sharing that with all of us. You are not now and never will be alone.

How Sam Sees It said...

She was a special girl, and we think of you every day.


Teesha and Bindie said...

A beautiful post. Sometimes a special dog comes along, its not that we love them any more then the others that come into out hearts just that they are that little bit different, every time one leaves me I always say "no more" but they tech us so much from them and theres always so much more to learn.

Rick said...

When I was a young man I was annoyed when I visited people and their dogs were barking or brushing up against my clothes. I couldn't fathom then what I feel now for my girls and really for all animals. Being a pet parent has changed me.
Thanks for sharing your kind thoughts. It's difficult but find comfort in all who share your grief.

Boondocks Love Shack Pack said...

So sorry to have only found this blog after Ruby passed. What a beautiful girl! We wish we'd have known her.

Boondocks & The Love Shack Pack

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I'm late getting here, and am so glad that this morning I'm going through my blog list to catch up on missed posts. We are preparing for the loss of one of our precious Goldens who has cancer. You have said so beautifully the things that I've thought so many times about our Goldens, past and present and the ones I hope will come.

I hope you have continued to find comfort and peace in your memories and in knowing that your loss is shared by many like me.

Sierra Rose said...

Really wonderful. Will read this post again and again.
Hope you are doing well.

Sweet hugs,
Sierra Rose

Val said...

What a beautiful tribute to a special family member. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Bless you!

bbes tribe said...

Ditto to Sue's comment- Beautifully stated and true!!!
Just learned about Ruby. Thanks for sharing her with us.

Kootenai's Summit Post said...

So beautiful. It made me cry. Time goes too fast in dog years. Sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post.

I am from the deepest part of my heart sorry for your loss.

I have a dog like Ruby, all the traits you describe, and I can only imagine the grief and emptiness in your hearts.

Take comfort in the fact that her passing was quick and you were with her. She will live on in her stories and lives she touched.

Blessings and healing for your heart.

1000 Goldens said...

I am in awe of your beautiful and perfect words. This post melted my heart I'm going to print and save it, and share it with anyone I know who is trying to make sense of it all. Love to you and your precious Ruby in heaven. I'm sure she and Farley are already fast friends. Love, Traci - Farley's Mom

Keith Andrea said...

.,oh this is very nice, so touching..

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Gracie May said...

We used to live near Sedona. My dog hates the cold of Colorado. Check oout her blog, www.dogblog-wetnoses.com

Tania ♥ said...

This dog is so adorable<3 ooh:)):X!!
Do you want to follow each other?

Louisette said...

Hello from Belgium and two golden