There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about this dog. Her name was Sumatra and we spent 7 wonderful years together in this life. From the moment she burst out of the car and ran around the yard with me when my then partner brought her home until the day we said goodbye, we were inseparable. She was attached to my hip and followed me where ever I went. She was my best friend and my savior during one of the darkest times in my life. It didn't matter what I was dealing with or going through in my life, she was my true companion and always ready for our nightly walks. She taught me how to enjoy life again, how to love deeply and how to play. She made me smile every day, hogged the bed whenever she could and provided me with endless amounts of cuddles and lap naps.
In September of 2009 she fell ill very quickly. Unable to stand to eat, drink or go outside, I took her to the vet. After some tests the vet told me over the phone that she had reason to believe that there was a large growth in Sumatra's belly that could be cancerous so I took her in for more tests. Those tests confirmed the vet's suspicions. She then talked to me about quality versus quantity. Sumatra was then 13 years old and nearing the end of a labs life span. I had to make the toughest decision I've ever made in my entire life. Something I would never wish on my worst enemy.
I had to say goodbye to my best friend, my companion, my teacher, my dog.
Almost 5 years later I still find myself shedding tears when I think about that day and how much I miss her. I am still so incredibly grateful to those who helped me through that tremendously difficult time.
|Sumatra's actual paw print tattooed on my left forearm.|
Today as I was hugging, playing and walking with the dogs I get to work with now I thought about all of the lessons Sumatra taught me and how I'm learning them all over again with the dogs that surround me now. Dogs don't care about your finances or what you do for a living. They have no judgements around any of that. All they care about is whether or not you're a good person with a good heart and good intentions. To them life is all about love, happiness, physical and emotional connection, good food, lots of play time and naps.
I've struggled financially in the past few months, I mean really struggled, but you know what? I wouldn't trade this life or this job for anything. I have never been happier with the work that I do. My nights are no longer filled with dreaded thoughts of work the next day. They're filled with happiness and excitement about work. I get to hang out with dogs! To me, that's the most wonderful, happy and exciting thought ever!
This feeling, this sense of pride and happiness in my work...this is what I've been searching for all this time. It wasn't ever in the daily grind of 9 to 5 nor was it on the road to a "sensible" job in the accounting field. It was here in the realm of an assemblage of part time gigs that have me working every day doing things that fill my soul; dogs, cameras, MacBooks and non-profits who are doing good in the world. To some, it may not look like much of a life but to me, it's the best life I've ever lived.
My heart is filled with gratitude.
Thank you Universe. Thank you for saying yes.