A New Way.

Nina.RestsSaturday, March 5, 2016 (walk & identification 3:27pm)


I walked with my dad yesterday

Searching for a place to bury my sweet dog

She was given to me as a gift 15 years ago

A gift because I was so lonely and had so much love to give.

Leaves loud under our feet

We walked into space familiar, a sprawling back yard, both clean and clear and natural—reminded me of my father’s face. Skin that beams, hair curly and peppered, landscaped perfection, stopping their revolution at all the right boundaries.


We looked in the leaves. Loud and crunching. He walked with me. In these moments my steps weighted with grief, my heart held by his strength.




This year I’ve had many challenges.

New though, is my attitude toward them.

I view them as treasures to be discovered.

I remember how strong other challenges have made me and anticipate heroic strength to come from my learning and from answering this one question: Why is this lesson on my life curriculum?

How will this struggle grow me?


Monday, 3.21.16 (tod: 11:23am)


I buried my dog today.


Shovel and 8×8 Tamper in hand.


Yesterday, I was a pet-owner, a pet-mommy

And my Nina was my first baby.

And while I’m real clear about the delineation between a child and a dog, she was my first pet as a grown-up. The first pet I was solely and financially responsible for. She let me dress her though I came to know that hair-bows and bandanas were enough.


Today, I was still a pet-mommy

But I was faced with her looming death.

Her decline was rapid, her moaning piercing


I ran to her night after night scooping her up and comforting her—attempting to bring her back to reality.

She stood in corners reaching for orientation.

I stood in agony reaching for her with my love.

It was like having a newborn with no milk to give…

Her decline was beyond my ability to help

So I held on…

(Grasping for calm when she was out of my arms)

She held on…

(Grappling to rest between fits of confusion)

And today, we both let go.












Her death

Our loss


15 years

4 moves

2 pregnancies and births

1 other dog

countless memories

countless comforts she offered me!


My dad prepared her grave this morning.

A spot he walked with me to choose in a backyard she loved

The sun shines on it, like she shined on us.


She was just for me

A gift from my boyfriend, turned fiancé, turned husband, turned father.

All of us cried.



And so…



Lord knows I’ve seen death these three years

But never start to finish…

Never vigor to exhaustion

Never wonder to agony

Never ran and held—hopelessly held night after night, hour after sleepless hour.

Tortured and compelled by her cries.


It was this though, that made her peace easy.

A dignified canine, who my mom called “siditty” because she wouldn’t sit in dirt.

I saw mom’s point—but then again, I wouldn’t sit in dirt, either.


She pranced when she was groomed.

She was clear about her cuteness and never met a human who didn’t fall immediately fall in love. Least of all, me.


She taught me what it is to give care

To worry and wonder

Years went by that I secretly asked God to let her talk—just for a day

Her eyes told stories of amusement

Her warm nuzzles held every indication of wisdom

Her message was consistent and true—everything is gonna be all right. And if it doesn’t seem so, I’ll lick you and lie here until it does. Then it will be.


Her lessons linger like curled smoke

Fascinatingly sinuous, fading, ephemeral, yet always there…


She teaches

That love isn’t all grand emotion.

Not always exhilarating highs

And melodramatic departures and longing.

It isn’t always made of syrup and soft, melty-marshmallows.

That love is hard sometimes and bittersweet

That inasmuch as you are desperate to catch and grasp it.

It becomes all the more real

When you simply



Trust and let go.

And when you let go—that truth washes over you

Love envelopes and lifts and carries

And the journey of letting go is far more freeing and exhilarating than clinging simply and helplessly to love as we know it.


And so in this release

She and I open our arms to new embraces

And new ways

To love each other!



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