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  • Writer's pictureHoekema Family

To love again

To start out on a lighter note than what is on the heavier side of my thoughts this week... everyone is cruising around and along like farm kids in the middle of hay season. Each dog has a smile a mile wide running off of the energy from each other.

Elation is running high with everyone except maybe the lawn whom is begging for a drink of moisture. The heat has crisped the grass but slowed down the chore of mowing it constantly so I kind of welcome the stunted growth.

I add a picture of some past Sola pups to get your heart to skip a beat knowing that puppy love is oh so right around the corner. Curly ears, fat tummies, squinty eyes and floofy behinds are just simply the best ever.

Around here, Meiko is always smiling, the camera loves her just as much as she loves it. Sola is at this point a willing patient to let my daughter run the ultrasound once again. Little babes dot the screen with more evidence this week of pups more than on their way. Growth at this point forward will be rapid.

We've been walking the trail into the evenings giving everyone their needed exercise outside the heated hours of mid-day.

The night is always whispering with a calming chorus so I'm finding it the perfect way to put everyone to bed. Our morning walks also cast a light across everything that brightens up golden coats, runs across the tops of greens in the garden and wakes us all up in the most perfect way.

Isla and Leia are growing like endless weeds lately. Isla is as tall and as elegant as ever and Leia is showing signs of the perfect girl to brighten anyone's day. They are still like 2 little peas in a pod which is crazy entertaining to watch. Both of them are pushing their boundaries with me a bit lately running through their adolescence, but of course I love them both immensely.

So to flip my thoughts a bit, more families have been coming in for meet and greets this past week and I've had the immense pleasure to be part of many more amazing stories. Unfortunately these stories have also carried a lot of grief, loss and sadness. So the question arises, when is the 'right' time? The moment we know we need to or should love again. Expand or replace is always the mental battle we go through. This often makes us delay bringing in another fur friend. I've given this a lot of thought this week and here's what I've come up with...

Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love. This I know for sure. They depart to teach us about loss.. . Fortunately... unfortunately.

New dogs are never brought into your heart and home to replace a former one, they merely sneak in and steal your heart to simply expand it beyond the capacity you thought possible. They will make you their whole life in a wisp of an instant. That Golden stare down of complete and utter willingness to make you beam with happiness is the only thing you'll be thinking of. You will be the love of their lives, their leader for life. He or she will be yours, faithful and truth all the way to the very last beat of their heart. This is the reason we fall so hard so fast for these dogs. They love you more than life itself. Once you have gone through this connection and love with a golden, a life without one, is a life dismissed really. So mark yourself as lucky, blessed beyond belief that you were gifted this amazing furry soul to help you navigate through the more difficult times in your life that many of us don't dare to touch. That furry, often dirty, shedding, wet and jumping being is often the only thing that gets us through. If you have escaped the unimaginable pain of loss in your life of a loved one, count yourself lucky. Many of us have not escaped this, me being one of them.

All these moments we 'endure' of wet and soggy melt away like they never existed in this first place and in the meantime their gleaming wide wings quickly emerge through their fur to rescue us from these moments we think we aren't going to get through. Every. Single. Time. They rescue us. They are our guardian angels. One day these wings will unfortunately carry them home. They will run free and wild knowing with a smile that they did their job, many jobs, to teach us oh so many things. Love, loss, faithfulness, unconditional devotion, and most importantly, how to love again. I hope beyond belief that my dogs that have left me will be waiting for me one day, as soggy and dripping full of river water as ever, just like yours will be waiting for you. I can't be certain of anything but one thing I know with crazy passion and absolute certainty is, they never meant for you to love only them. They walk beside you always, unseen, unheard, smiling from ear to ear knowing you had the strength to love again. To pour your grief into tears of anticipation of that new pup you know is on its way is the part of your heart that you trust and are now going to rely on. You have full faith your heart will expand once more knowing the spirit of your former fur friend is watching over you. And in this moment I am sitting in gratitude knowing that on the edges of this grief I get to help mend the frayed tears of sorrow and the moments of utter sadness you will go through. The moment that wiggly, white, happy from tail to snoot little pup crawls up into your face to give you the biggest kisses ever is the moment we all will know that your heart has just made room for another. I do not have all the answers to how to navigate grief but I have gone through it, with my fur friends and with my most favorite person of all time unfortunately. Whether it's now, months or a couple of years down the road, there is no 'right' time or length of time to grieve or add another fur friend to your family. But I do know that without that place filled in your home, bigger difficulties are a touch more difficult, a bit more challenging and lot more lonely. So I am here, to listen, to help navigate, to give support as the months pass. And when the time is ‘right’ for you, I will place that little wiggly ball of a pup into your arms and you will know without a doubt that the journey with all the steps through grief were needed to get to this moment. Thank you for trusting me to share with you my experiences of what I've been through personally to help you get there as well.

I flip back to the lighter side of things as I watch the dogs find the first sun spot of the morning gracing their yard. All 4 of them dog piled into one small space. Sunbathers one moment and then shade seekers the very next. The sprinkler is already running overtime into the garden barely keeping up. My magical space of food is abundant this time of year. It’s been keeping the bunnies around here very happy with so much fresh greens. They offer to share with us, oh so kind you guys.

For now we all send our very best as always of course as we head into another week of patiently waiting, enjoying each moment, pondering how to navigate what’s ahead and what is ‘right’ for each and everyone of us. This path is ever so different, full of branches and brambles, detours and ditches. We do our very best and with the love of a dear fur friend by our side, former, present and the dream of a future we take on another day with Joy and gratitude.


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