I had big plans to write a New Year post filled with the joy and excitement and hope that starting fresh always gives me. A new year, a new book by a favorite author, a new work in progress of mine; there are so many beginnings we have a chance to experience in a lifetime.
I was going to wax on about how I like to choose a word of the year to inspire me instead of coming up with resolutions. 2020’s word was discipline, in case you were wondering. But New Years Eve slapped me upside the head and reminded me that time is precious.
My husband and I have been involved in Doberman rescue since 2005. We’ve had a parade of foster dogs come through, but over the years I developed a real love for the seniors, special needs, and hospice dogs. The throwaways who need more work and understanding than most people feel able to handle. Those are the dogs I bring home and love for as long as they grace us. Sometimes we get years, sometimes months, sometimes weeks, but every moment is precious.
About a year and a half ago, we adopted a biped Doberman puppy named Roo. Born with nubs for front legs and severely twisted shoulder blades, he was found in a paper bag, in a shopping center parking lot, in the dead of an Ohio winter. He ended up in rescue and from there we brought him home.
Roo turned out to be a force of nature, a dynamo, a lover, a power-snuggler, a dervish who could go from zooming around the house to giving out the sweetest kisses in seconds flat. He reveled in wrestling with our German Shepherd then cleaning his huge ears. We have laughed and smiled everyday since we adopted him.
Now, we have learned that our time with Roo will be limited to weeks, or months, if we’re lucky. To say we’re wrecked by the news is an understatement. It’s not that we’ve never been given devastating news before, it’s that Roo is only two years old and so full of life. How cruel can Fate be that a puppy born with such issues gets so few years? I have no answer for you, nor do I think I’ll ever have one for myself.
Deep sigh… So, now that I’ve thoroughly depressed you, I’ll finally get to the point.
Love while you can. Time isn’t guaranteed.
That is true for all the people and animals in your life. They are there for a reason but it’s easy to let that reason be obscured by work and the hurly-burly pace of your world. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the minutiae of each day, to let our phones ring and sing and vibrate our attention away. Open your computer and there’s a universe of distractions to get sucked into for hours at a time while the heartbeats around you wait for you to see them, hear them, wait for you to look up and just BE with them.
For me, the wonderful phrase in the movie Avatar, “I see you”, says it best. So instead of a single word to help me focus during 2020, I’ll use the phrase, “I’m with you.”
I’m with you each and every day.
I’m with you through the laughter.
I’m with you through the pain.
I’m with you to the end.
Be present. Be with. Be.
That is what we will do for Roo. That is what we will do for each other as we shepherd him through his last days. That is what we will do this year and the next and the next.
That is what I wish for you and your loved ones in 2020 and beyond.
May your words flow freely,