Welcome

The 20+ millimeters of rain that fell over the last two days gave a welcome respite from the dry spell going back to late August. This afternoon’s sunshine was equally welcome.

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Advantage

Beyond a bare already harvested soybean field, a combine chews its way through another soybean crop.

Living and working in a rural area has its advantages and drawbacks, as does living anywhere. I count as an advantage – a blessing – seeing this clear evidence of the changing seasons, of seeing where food comes from, of who harvests it and how.

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Smile

Someone mentioned today that they really miss their dog that’s gone on ahead and are still sad he is no longer here.

While I miss all the dogs that have gone on ahead, am sometimes for a few moments sad (for me) about letting go of Stella last May, I generally look back with gratitude and contentment that I shared life and time with so many dogs, different dogs.

How can I not smile when I look at this photo of sweet Corndog spotlighted by a sunbeam, snoozing on his couch?

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I have been blessed.

Small town parade

Our small town’s annual fair had its opening parade the other night. A neat aspect of living in a small town is that you’re not restrained behind barricades dozens of feet away, you’re right there only a few feet from the action. You can make eye contact, person to person as it should be.

Back on Thursday.

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A journey ends, a journey begins

My journey with Stella has ended – in one way.

I prefer to not share all of the details of how and why. They are between me and Faye, Stella, our vet, and the Knower of All Things. It’s enough to say we are blessed with a vet who came to our home and helped us let go, with Stella’s head in my lap.

I adopted her over 13 years ago, discovered a new and deep sense of purpose. We learned from and trained one another. We prospered through the years of Avis and Moonpie becoming senior dogizens, being adopted by Corndog. We met Faye and I gained another new purpose. Someone to love and be loved by.

We let go of Moonpie, Avis, Corndog, and gained a new four footed companion – Achilles.

We moved to a new life, a new country, met new dogs – Rex, Kendal, BoJo, fosters Charlie and Lucy – and let go of them. Achilles is still here. We met yet another foster, Fitzi, and he has stuck. He’s the right dog at the right time.

I hope that Stella had a full life. Some people might have done more to keep her here longer. I believe it’s better to let go a day too soon, while she still had dignity, than a day too late.

I’m sad – for me and for Faye. Among the bargains I made when adopting her (that anyone makes when they adopt a dog or cat) was that I’d probably outlive her.

My sadness is tempered by gratitude for having years together, learning from and about one another. Deep gratitude to the family who trusted me enough to let me adopt her.

I don’t believe in the Rainbow Bridge. This isn’t a criticism of those who do believe, only a statement that I don’t believe. I don’t believe that Stella or any (every) dog I’ve owned will rush to greet me at the Bridge. She has too much good stuff to do, to spend eternity at my side. She’s too busy power-chasing squirrels and keeping them honest. There are too many rivers, lakes, and ponds for a duck wearing a dog suit to swim in. And that’s fine.

A journey ends, a journey begins. Stella is no longer here yet she is here – in my memory, head, heart, and soul. So she lives on.

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