I am sad. My heart is broken.
Today is a “fake it til you make it” day. I heard this expression a lot growing up. I thought my Nanny must have coined it. Nanny said it. Mom recites it when needed. She has uttered these words my direction enough times over the years, I have adopted the phrase as a mantra during difficult times. When I feel like I can’t face the day, I still go through the motions of getting up, making myself presentable, and showing up for life. I fake it. In the book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon writes of seasons, of good and bad times. What do we all know about seasons? They pass. So it is better to keep showing up for life, even if you have to fake it for a season. Eventually, you make it. I always have.
I am a dog person. I love my fur babies, and they love me. Even when I’m not so loveable my puppies love me. They bring joy to my life and ask for so little in return. Yeah, they want to be petted, go out to potty, have their morning and evening treat, and follow you into the bathroom. My house dogs aren’t perfectly behaved citizens. Oh no, they have been known to knock over the trash to pick through it, chew holes in my new couch, transform into escape artists to leave the confines of the fenced in yard, and bark at ghosts.
But…If you too are a dog lover, you know the unconditional love your puppies give you. No one else may get excited to see me at the end of the day, but they do. With hello barks, dancing on hind legs, and wagging tails I am greeted every evening and morning. My kids may not acknowledge I’ve arrived home from work, but my puppies welcome me home every night. I never have to sit alone on the sofa or have a cold lap. I am a lucky dog mamma.
I am tearing up as I write this, but is that now how tributes go? This week The unthinkable happened to my puppies. Harley, my high-spirited, pretty, dainty Maltese was killed. Chanel, our little spunky Shorkie was seriously injured in what we now know was an animal attack. Thankfully, our veterinarian says she is going to be ok. Chanel is already acting more like her sweet self, but she like me seems a little lost, or maybe that’s me.
Harley’s barks and playfulness is missing from our home. She was the instigator of a lot of tomfoolery between our three puppies. Riley (a miniature Schnauzer mix), the older and calmer gentleman of the bunch, would be cajoled into paying like a puppy with Harley. From time to time, I’ve sat back and watched the three dogs play chase, “fight” over socks and cuddle up together for naps. Today, I picked up stray socks in the hall, and it brought tears to my eyes as I remembered how Harley would snatch, growl and shake them furiously. I always thought this was hilarious but, Alfred and the kids not so much. I got to the point, I’d look at her and say, “That’s not your sock. It’s mine.” Her response was to drop it and carry on with the next item on her daily agenda.
It was clear from the beginning, Harley was a woman’s dog. She loved me. She followed me everywhere. She sat with me at night to watch TV. She was underfoot all the time in the kitchen. If I took a nap, she did too. Right now, she would either be putting a paw on the keyboard to get my attention or be stretched out along side my leg here on the couch. She was right by my side while I recovered from surgery last year. She would wait for me to get out of the shower. She was my little shadow, my constant companion, my fur baby.
I loved that six-pound, furry, cute little bundle of energy so much. It feels like a part of me is missing. The house is much quieter. Riley and Chanel, you can tell, feel it too. Harley, my sweet little girl dog, you were so much more than just a dog. I will miss you.