A week after we arrived home from the cottage, our family dog Abby became ill. As the week progressed it was clear she was not well and weakness set in.
She knew she was ill and she communicated that by going outside to find a quiet, peaceful place in the backyard to lay down. The furthest away from our home and from us. This behaviour was opposite to the kind of dog Abby was. She had to be where we were at all times. If I walked out of the room she followed and would lay down close by. That’s just the kind of dog she was. She needed human connection. Much like us.
While dogs can’t speak to tell us what’s wrong, her actions spoke louder than words.
While last weeks decision to put her down was difficult, there’s comfort knowing she spent her last healthy weeks with us at the cottage. She acted as though she were still a puppy, running along the beach each morning and swimming tirelessly, day after day to retrieve the sticks we tossed in the lake for her. She had the biggest smile on her face, she was in her glory.
We are fortunate to have enjoyed her companionship and fun loving nature for 9.5 years. She brought so much joy to our lives.
If you’re an animal person you understand the heart ache of losing a pet. Below are the invaluable lessons I learned from my doodle and how we can apply it to humanity.
Lessons from my Golden Doodle
#1 Listen beyond the words.
Observe behaviours, actions or inaction rather than words to sense what might really be going on with a loved one, colleague or friend.
#2 Forgiveness is a given. Take action even when it’s hard.
Have the difficult conversation. Don’t allow your worry to fester and get out of control. Forgive yourself for having to do the tough stuff.
#3 Always a smile, never a frown. Have fun – Be playful.
Do not wallow in sadness, instead reflect on the memories and celebrate life. We turned the sadness of losing our family pet into a beautiful celebration of her life with family, friends, good food and meaningful conversation.
#4 Love runs deep when there is no judgement.
Treating others with love and kindness ALWAYS is simply part of a dogs DNA. Scientists have now found a link between the genetic structure of Williams Syndrome, and the genes of dogs. (Might be why dogs are so happy) We, humans, have much to learn about unconditional love from our furry fun loving four legged dogs.
#5 A Role model for living life – Always a best friend – forever.
Missing my four legged best friend.