“Dogs have no idea how wonderful they are. They walk all around us and make the world a better place.”
On a chilly, but sunny, Thursday morning in Scottsdale, Arizona, this was Yumi’s thought of the day.
How serendipitous that our instructor should choose these two sentences as inspiration for Tom, me and six others on February 2, 2023, as we stood on our mats and began our weekly seventy-five-minute journey into yoga.
On Ground Hog Day fifteen years ago our basset hound Maggie crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.
When it’s your pet, you never forget the highs and lows long after the calendar pages have come and gone.
The frolics with Kirk, Nick, Tom, and me in the lush green of our backyard … the comfort of her velveteen elongated ears as I stroked her coat … the gnaws and crunches of rawhide bones and petite carrots as she gobbled up another evening snack, after racing to welcome us home at the kitchen door.
Then along came that sad-and-snowy suburban Chicago morning in 2008 when our dog endured another–particularly horrible– seizure.
After the shaking had stopped, she looked up at me with resignation from the tile of our kitchen floor without the energy or inclination to lick the maple syrup off a breakfast plate.
Soon after, Tom and I scooped her into our sedan, arrived at our vet’s office, and whispered goodbye to her as she sprawled on a blanket on the floor.
Today, seventeen hundred miles and a lifetime away from the northern Illinois home she patrolled and dominated, I recall the “glue” and comic relief our dog provided (through her warm fur, misshapen front legs, and bellowing howl).
She was the antidote for our non-traditional family: two men (in a loving relationship just doing our best to coexist in a less enlightened world) with my two sons zooming in and out of our life as they grew.
Our dog simply demanded our constant attention and stood by our sides witnessing it all.
It was the love and companionship of Maggie and the litany of her daily adventures–walks, feedings, treats, medicines, rabbits, squirrels, accidents in the hall, and countless cuddles–that magically connected us all.
Certainly, from 1998 to 2008, our dog made our world a better place.