The Pull

Walking my dog and the cycle of life.

After a hard fought battle with Cancer I had to say goodbye to my girl yesterday, I say girl even though she was 15. Gracie was a bundle of unbridled energy from the day we rescued her at 8 months old. She was that dog that was so excited to meet people she jumped on everyone, and had absolutely no manners. She barked too much, loved tennis balls, hated doorbells with a passion, and cherished her walks.

We walked twice a day, everyday, always.

In the mornings she would wait for me to just barely move and then sit patiently by the bed until I got dressed, and we were off. I guess you could say walk even though it was really her pulling me down the street. You could see us coming a mile away. Her, way in front almost on hind legs so excited panting feverishly, and me 12 feet back trying to control her. She was a force of nature in the neighborhood and the other dog owners looked at us with disdain. But, we didn’t care.

There is something to be said about being pulled around the block twice a day, everyday. It used to really drive me crazy, and even make me mad. I hated it then but miss it now as with most things in life.

But, now I see that is exactly how life can be sometimes, being pulled all over the place and doing your best to keep up.

Earlier this year after I noticed her acting a little off, she was diagnosed with Cancer. I knew the day was coming so I did everything I could to make her comfortable and try to prepare myself. It didn’t make it any easier. Her powerful pull on our walks slowly become less and less until finally she was unable to make it just beyond the driveway anymore, so we would just sit. It was in these moments that I realized we had so much more in common than I thought. We live our lives and “go, go go” constantly, barely stopping to breathe. And yet slowly as the years progress, we get slower and slower. In her case, about 6 months from the time of diagnosis.

There is something so profound about the connection between us and the human or animal we are responsible for. We care for them, bathe them, we help them eat when they are a small, and help them eat when they old. The cycle of life. Yesterday, as I left the vets office i never felt it so clearly. I held her in my arms as she slowly went to sleep, so peaceful. As I walked out in the lobby right after, I saw a woman holding her new puppy up in the air, so happy and full of life. Her cycle was just beginning as mine was ending. A lifetime of memories ahead as another lifetime closed it’s door. Cycle of life, enjoy the pull while it lasts.

— @MikeSnedegar —