In the spring of 2014 my precious rescue dog Rocky passed away…and just two weeks later my darling Gibson followed him. It was the same spring, just one day after Rocky left, my African Violet bloomed again for the first time in close to 20 years. It made me stop, think, look up, ask and listen!
The loss of one beloved pet is unbearable but losing two was almost more than I could begin to wrap my head around. My heart was broken…my spirit was broken…I was at a complete loss, and I knew my life was changed forever. What now? Walking around in circles before laying down became all too familiar, until one of those circles walked me past my violet that presented with not one but now two perfect blooms. This was by far no coincidence in my mind. It was a message…it had to be! A plant I had dragged around with me for 20 years and had not bloomed in as long is now blooming? Why now? Without hesitation I started talking to my dog…my dog who was no longer by my side…my dog who made it a point to make sure for 12 years I was always in his sight… my dog who let me know every day he was grateful I saved him from a life of neglect…my dog who gave his endless love and devotion while on this earth and my dog who was about to be the facilitator of putting me back on my yellow brick road.
In my sadness I instinctively reached for my grown up box of crayons and sparkly baubles. Being creative always eased my mind in the past so it seemed like the place to go for at least a momentary reprieve of the heartache. I started to draw…I can’t draw! I doodled a few flowers and I even doodled my Rocky’s big ole’ head…it worked and made me smile. At some point over the next few days I decided to pick up a paint brush…I can’t paint! I had no canvas so I used paper. The only thing I seemed able to produce was a silhouette of Rocky’s head and flowers…and it still made me smile. I talked to Rocky a lot during those moments…and this is what I heard…
I know you miss me but I am still your dog and by your side. I will always be your dog who is grateful you saved me from a life of neglect. I am your dog who loves that you embraced my journey on earth. I am your dog who will always live in your heart. I am your dog who is here with Gibson who can see and hear again. I am your dog who took your love with me to a new address and I am your dog telling you to paint…because it’s what you are supposed to be doing and because you can!
Rocky’s gift to me from heaven was sending me the inspiration for Bloomin’ Dog Studio. I discovered through this experience and I honestly believe as connected as we are to our pets on earth…they remain connected when they leave. It is our duty to listen…even if it’s a language not understood by some. It is our duty to love them while they are on their journey with us. It is our duty to learn the lessons they bring with them…especially the ones we can’t see. It is our duty not to hold on when it’s their time to go…because they have more work to do and they never really leave us…they just have that new address.
Special Thanks to my dear friend Jill for her insight and wise words…she is always an inspiration!
Owner of The Good Dog Co. Atl