As I sit here writing my blog, our new terrier mix, Luna, is sleeping quietly through her first night at home. Our early moments together have been amazing, and her presence has lifted my spirits.
Yet I can’t help feeling sad as I replay the events of today’s adoption process.
My father loved dogs and owned many throughout his life. One morning in May 2006, as he prepared to leave for the hospital (and struggling to breathe), Dad said goodbye to our rambunctious beagle, Betsy. Unaware of the severity of my father’s illness, I thought for sure he’d see her again. He died the next day.
Betsy had her own health issues, and they got worse after Dad was gone. In January 2008, we had to put her down, her suffering too much for us to bear.
It was, of course, a terribly sad event, but it arrived with a competing emotional force. In the midst of dealing with Betsy’s passing, I recalled images of my father tossing her a coveted tennis ball, feeding her forbidden table scraps, and laughing like a child at her endearing “hound dog ways.”
All of this brings me to Luna–right now–and the realization that in joy there are often hints of sorrow; in heartache, traces of love. It all comes back to family, and in our house dogs are family too.