Dedicated to: Scott, Tara, Kathy Stief, Reece and Albert, Red, Loretta and Ricky, and our beloved Harley
Hardly seems possible that a few days from now, April 28, will mark two years since Harley left us because a groomer was negligent while Harley was in her care. The groomer is still in business and I wonder how many of her customers are aware of the chances she takes with their furbabies? We certainly weren’t and we paid the ultimate price. Because of Harley’s story, the groomer we use today locks her door while she is grooming a fur baby. She will open the door when someone knocks after she has safely secured the dog. For that small gesture, I am grateful.
The acute pain of Harley’s loss has dissolved into a dull ache when I think of her, see pictures, or look at the small walnut box holding her ashes. I have made peace with the loss and pain. I know she is waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge, waiting for us when we transition from this life to the next. There will be other furbabies we love waiting there, too. Author Agnes Sligh said, “Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” She was right. I can’t think of one fault any dog has, except for a short life. And, we know when we bring fur babies into our lives, we will lose them at some point. It’s losing them in tragic ways that are so heartwrenching.
And yet, because of Harley’s loss, I have met some wonderful people I may not have if she were here today. One doesn’t cancel out the other for sure, but at least a glimmer of silver was tucked inside the black cloud of loss and grief. Although I was not ready to welcome another fur baby into our lives so soon after Harley, my husband was. He found a fabulous breeder through synchronous events. Tasia became a part of our family about 5 months later. We couldn’t love her more. She quietly and patiently offered her companionship, loyalty, and love as I moved through the stages of grief.
So taken by Tasia, we decided to add yet another fur baby. Kaiah is Tasia’s half-sister from the same breeder. When Kathy of K & M Puppy Paradise & Divas by Design Puppy Couture placed Kaiah in my arms the words of Iain Thomas took on new meaning, “And then my soul saw you and it kind of went – Oh there you are. I’ve been looking for you.” Anyone who knows me knows I believe it possible animals reincarnate, especially beloved pets. Within Kaiah’s tiny body was housed an enormous spirit, that of Kaiah and Harley. It felt as if I had been reunited with Harley, and Kaiah has been my shadow ever since.
The love of dogs brings people together, a common bond is shared and instant friendships develop. My husband worked with a guy whose wife is as dog-crazy as I. The guys talked about the new dog we were bringing into our lives. The couple fell in love with a puppy from Puppy Paradise and when I brought Tasia home, Miss B came back with us and joined the other dog-crazy family. Friendships are founded on commonality, and when we brought Kaiah home, this dog-crazy couple joined us and welcomed another pup, Grayson, into their home.
Cardinals, too, have become a part of our lives. On the day that Harley left us, my friend and I who were tirelessly searching for Harley ventured into an alley overgrown with bramble. Perched on one of the branches was a female cardinal. For a moment our eyes locked and I knew in my spirit Harley was gone and the cardinal was an angel bearing sad news. Cardinals are associated with death often appearing just before or after a spirit has departed its body. Cardinals also represent the living souls of the departed come to remind their loved ones all is well and they are nearby. Since that time cardinals have been present and plentiful in our lives, constant reminders of Harley’s indomitable spirit.
It is said few things in life are certain save for taxes and death. There is a third and that is love never dies…..