The dog fix

there is nothing like a dog’s love

Last Saturday evening, I was coming back home from a week in Tucson. While on the second plane that headed from Chicago to Cleveland, I saw a long golden fur stuck on my jean. I smiled because it was evidence of my blissful visit to my sister- and brother-in-law’s house where two large balls of pure love reside: a golden doodle named Riley and a pure golden retriever named Resa. I was in dog heaven.

I had arrived at their house on Thursday morning already sleep deprived. My body was certainly tired, but my mind was also jumbled and my spirit battered. My line of work requires focus on the global economy, and lately, that has meant paying attention to the ongoing war and geopolitical tensions. With age, I have gotten better at leaving work at work, but the tensions can sometimes creep into my psyche before I am aware of it. And of course, the loss of my dear Maris has been a thing that has been hanging over me. There are days I miss her so much that it feels like I lost her just yesterday. It has already been almost 4 months, but now I believe what my friends have told me… the pain and longing last a lifetime. So here I was, broken and tired, and that is how Riley and Resa found me.

These dogs are around 75 pounds each. Yes… EACH. They have the power to knock me over, all of 110 pounds, but I wouldn’t care. I had been there just a few minutes, and they were already all over me, as if we had been best friends all our lives. Riley, the golden doodle, put my entire wool jacket in his mouth and walked around the house. Did I care about the dog slobber? Nah! I just loved that he liked my scent enough to do it! As I always say… everything is replaceable… except for us and those we love.

While I was at Rose’s house, I got licked all over by Resa who is a golden retriever extraordinaire… honestly, I think she licked me more in the two and half days I was there than all 11 years of Maris’s life with me (Maris wasn’t really a licker… she was very stingy about kisses, even with me). Perhaps one adventure that sticks out was our 5:30am walk in the desert. I tagged along with Robert (brother-in-law), Riley, and Resa on their morning walk, saw the constellation Orion very clearly for the first time in a really long time, witnessed the moon setting behind the Tucson mountains, and the sunrise painting the sky in various hues of red and orange. The desert is a beautiful place, and even better with loved ones and terrific canine company.

Jeff and I are waiting for our little Australian Shepherd puppy to grow enough to come home with us. He is currently 2.5 weeks old and still at the farm with his dog-mother. While I am so excited with anticipation for our little Lucas (yes, that’s going to be his name), this is the time for me heal by spending quality time with my Maris memories. And I was so blessed to have Riley and Resa’s love and giving energy to help me get through this difficult time.

Thank you, Maris, for leading us to Lucas. I know that you made me a better dog-mommy in the last 11 years, and that you’ll continue to guide me with the next little puppy. Don’t worry, little Lucas, I am working on healing and will be ready to be your mommy in a few weeks. I can’t wait to see you, little buddy. And thank you, Riley and Resa, for giving me the love and the desert warmth I needed along the bridge between Maris and Lucas…

So many kisses…

Desert morning