I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal perhaps since my teenage years, but only lately do I call it as such. There is such power in honoring moments with loved ones, watching the morning birds at their feeders, smelling the wild air of the ocean and rubbing the belly of a puppy dog. Regardless of their advancing age, my dogs have always been puppies.
Puppy boys, to be specific.
Ten years ago, when realizing my husband and I were not going to be parents to humans, we decided the best way to deepen the love in our house was to invite in puppy dogs. How quickly Roscoe and Yamhill, brother springer-labs from the town of Yamhill, Oregon, became inseparable from each other and us! One was white with black spots; the other black with white spots. One was goofy and sang while the other more serious and strong-willed.
Aside from enjoying acres and miles from all our outings, I have been struck with the spirit of soul so alive in their eyes. The nudge of a paw saying it is time to get off the computer. The kiss on the leg to say it is time for a cuddle. Dogs circling the front door even before we insert the key. How the roar of their love spoke as they traveled with us loving each molecule of being.
Last July, we said goodbye to Sir Roscoe after his adventurous life of ten years. This week we said goodbye to Sweet Yamhill. The brothers are now home with each other. But oh how our home feels empty and silent as if a grand chorus has exited forever stage right.
These dogs made a mother out of me. I organized much of my work, home, and travel life around them, writing at my desk, the dogs nestled by my feet and if I/we were away, me checking social media to watch their wilderness romps at day camp. (Thank you, Erica!)
The author and Franciscan Richard Rohr dedicates his book “The Universal Christ” to his dog, Venus, who he “had to release to God” as he began this latest work (which has received blurbs from Bono, Melinda Gates, et al). How can a noted theologian and priest dedicate his great work about divine consciousness… to a dog?
From every star-lit pore in my body, I completely understand.
Sending gratitude to the dog-gone, godly dog paw prints alight in the heavens. Perhaps Roscoe and Yamhill are not so far from Venus?
Love to you forever, my puppy boys.