Small Things, Grief, and My Dog…

Marley

My nearly 14 year old dog died recently. It wasn’t a surprise, but it was still a shock. My heart broke on that day and it still aches. I think it will ache for a long time to come. I had 2 dogs. Now I have one. My surviving dog Maxie, who is 13, stared at the door, waiting for his companion to come home for a about a week after Marley died. I tried to explain to him that Marley wasn’t coming home, but he didn’t believe me. He’s finally started eating again, so I guess he’s okay but he does sometimes still wait by the door like he’s expecting his friend.

Grief sucks. It’s hard to know how you will handle it until the unfortunate day it rears it’s head. I’ve experienced loss before and I will again. It’s one of life’s things.

The companionship, unconditional love and gentle nature my little fella brought into my life was immense. It makes me even more determined to live my life deliberately, value what I have, and be kind and compassionate to others.

This was the first big loss my children understood. A tough, crappy lesson but also an important one.

My dog definitely had a purpose for being with us. He was small, never saved a life, and didn’t do fancy tricks (his breath and farts could be terrible :) ) but he was a constant, calming presence. He would never steal another dog’s bone, always met us at the door with a wagging tail and forgave us for not always giving him the attention he deserved.

He was my constant companion laying under my desk while I worked. He cuddled with me during my pregnancies and welcomed my kids lovingly even though it meant a little less attention for him.

I’m being a little gentler with myself these days. Making sure to take time to focus on exercise, being with others, resting and appreciating the small things. I now know and appreciate more than ever that it’s the small things that really matter.

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