I don’t often post personal updates on my blog (so if it’s not your thing, you know, click away).
A few years ago our dog Ferris died. I wrote about it at the time, but it was an awful time, marred by burned landscapes and fractured nerves, and I don’t think even the writing helped me properly process my grief in amongst sharper traumas.
Ferris is, I admit sadly, still in a dusty little box in the back of a cupboard.
But for the first time, yesterday, I was able to talk about what to do with those ashes without too much heaviness because we’ve welcomed a new dog into our home and somehow it feels safe to acknowledge what we’ve lost.
We adopted Sally from an RSPCA shelter. She is a ‘bitsa’ — the best kind! — and like Rosy in the beautiful Let’s Get A Pup, she radiates Good Intention.
Sally (already her name when we met her) has had a difficult life. We don’t know how she got her scar but shelter staff suggested that she was a victim of cruelty (I feel tight in the chest just thinking about it so I won’t elaborate): this is not the first time she’s been ‘rescued’ and adopted. Her immediate past owner must have been gentle with her because, although timid, she has lost the raw edge of fearfulness. But he died, and so Sally is recently bereaved, and she comes to us with so much neediness that it soothes us all just to be together.
The simplest things make a good life; a soft bed, a full stomach, a kind word. It’s a gift to be reminded.