It’s a great day for the first snow of the year. It would have been Little Star’s eleventh anniversary of her first day here. It was a cold snowy Friday and it was one of the happiest days of my life. I would soon learn it was one of Star’s happiest days also. It included mounds of snow and cold, her two favorite things. Oh yes, and she was home.
As a dog trainer writing a blog about dog training, it has been a hard couple of months. As I learned about blogging, I realized that this blog would include much more about dogs than just training. Last January, during APDT’s Train Your Dog Month Social Media Contest, I entered with a series of blogposts called “At Home With The Dogs Of kona’s touch”. I have always included my personal dogs in my writings, but never to this extent and they have been warmly received. I even won the contest. As many of you know, shortly after that series we found out we would lose our Little Star White Dog to terminal cancer. A sudden diagnosis with a devastating ending.
It’s been hard for me to write these days. There has been a lot of sadness for us in the last few years culminating with a double whammy at the end of 2011. What is difficult is that many people don’t want to hear about the sadness after awhile. But what I’ve come to find is, some people do. We learn many lessons from a broken heart. It’s the time we’re most open. I have experienced the sheer joy of loving dogs and the pure sadness of losing them. Five months later it is still with me, perhaps even more raw than the first 3 months. My fear in writing about it is that you’re all going to think I’m “Debbie Downer”. The goodness of writing about it is that it feeds my soul. Some people can use the information and some people can use the company.
I’m not afraid to talk about death, but right now I’m going to talk about life. Our life here in this house since Little Star left this earth just short of five months ago..
Christmas was awful, New Years was a little better, terrible. I spent December wishing for warm weather and it worked. You see, Little Star loved the snow and I couldn’t bear to think about it snowing without her.
I’ve been dreading this day all winter and even though I have always loved the snow as much as Star did, I didn’t want it. I didn’t dread Christmas and it was awful, I didn’t dread New Years, awful again. Today I have dreaded for the last two months and it’s not so bad. I feel a lightness I haven’t felt in a long time. I feel with this anniversary and the first snow a choice to be with Star again. When she first died I was content. I felt a little bad that I didn’t feel bad. Un-loyal perhaps, unfeeling. Then the bottom fell out and the pain in my heart was killing me. I lost her then for a few months which is why I was so sad. Now I am light again, contentment is returning and I’m feeling her with me again. Joy is returning in the form she would have insisted on.
Expectations and predictions can really weigh us down. They can change energy and send us into spins and twirls that cause our centers to uncenter. Our balance to unbalance. I have learned a lot about living in the present these last few months. When I do it I can still be with Star, and when I don’t, I can’t.
Every year on the “first snow” we would wake up early and rush to get downstairs and into the yard. She would barrel out the door and run as fast as she could diving head first for a roll worth waiting for all summer. She then ran around the yard making trails and then running back making new ones next to the first ones. Then she would find her jolly ball and pick it up high so the snow wouldn’t trip it. She’d drop it at my feet and back up and bark. I would throw it as far as I could and she would bound through the snow dipping her head in just for the fun of it while she retrieved her ball. We would play until I was cold, she would never get cold, and then we would go in for a good hearty breakfast before she went for her “first snow day walk”
Today is that day. I thank Star for holding back the snow this long and letting us all adjust to getting the holiday behind us. I think most of the mid west thanks her for that.
This evening on Star’s 11th Anniversary, when the snow has accumulated, I will run with my dogs in the yard and I will feel the joy of Little Star and all she has taught me about love and laughter and the first day of snow.