And she said losing love
Is like a window in your heart.
Everybody sees you’re blown apart.
Everybody hears the wind blow.
– Paul Simon, Graceland
Mel, the wonder dog, my walking companion, the canine comedian, sadly died on Friday. It was sudden and shocking. Even though she was a 12 year old Lab with some health issues, she still behaved youthful. We had saved her from the brink of death twice already, so this one was unexpected. And fast. Too fast.
Part of loving a dog is losing a dog, and I found that out the hard way this weekend. But I also found out how incredible people can be. How they reach out with kind words and even lend you one of their dogs for the first walk after yours is gone. How they lay on the floor with her and say good-bye and text you tirelessly to make sure you are ok even when they know you are not. How they tolerate the tears that feel like they will never end and never say ‘she was just a dog.’
Strange and wonderful things happen even in the worst of situations. There are simply no coincidences in life. You just need to pay attention and it is all clear.
Mel was named after the ice cream man. The kids loved him (who doesn’t love the ice cream man). Late Friday afternoon I was picking up dinner and when I got to my car there was a long line of cars waiting for the light to change. There, next to where I was parked, was Mel the Ice Cream Man.
On Main Street.
In October!! WTH!
There are no coincidences.
Last week I read A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. This charming tale is written from the point of view of a dog who keeps dying and is reincarnated until he finds his purpose. Each life had a purpose of its own. Yes, we personify our pets, but I truly believe they get IT (note the caps). And I thank Mr. Cameron for the point of view that helped me through one of the hardest decisions of my life – to let her go before she started to suffer. I finished the book a couple of days before Mel died.
There are no coincidences.
Mel was my other half, my walking buddy, the one who soothed me when I was at my saddest. She was a good sport about my habit of taking pictures and would pose patiently whenever called upon. As I have said before, she acted like each ride in the car was a trip to the Caribbean. She was full of joy and never complained. The Schmoop, as she was affectionately called, was larger than life and a huge part of our family. We will miss her terribly.
If you have a dog, go grab the leash and take her for a walk. Throw a ball. Enjoy every joyous moment of her unconditional love. Get over the chewed shoe or the the tumbleweeds of fur she sheds and give her a big hug on Mel.
Oh, and a huge thank you to the Vets and the entire staff at The Port Washington Animal Hospital who not only saved her so many times, but treated her, and us, with the greatest compassion and dignity. We will forever be grateful for your love of animals.