He was just a tiny puppy. Skinny, confused, seeming entirely unsure of what this whole “being a baby dog” thing was about.

He died two weeks after the love story that he was part of died too – but while he was in my life, he became the greatest teacher of unconditional love I’ve ever known, or probably ever will.

Everything that could be difficult for this dog was – he was allergic to EVERYTHING, which took years to figure out and made him constantly sick in the meantime. He was so emotionally sensitive that anyone in the house having a bad day sent him to a panic – and when he panicked, he either peed or threw up. The older dog we got him to be a buddy for wanted nothing to do with him.

But he loved us, completely and unceasingly, regardless of any of that.

And when he was happy, he was the absolute embodiment of happiness in a living creature.

Nothing delighted him more than discovering his ball over…and over….and over. The delight was never any less after thousands of discoveries.

When he climbed up on the couch beside me, he’d lay his head on my chest and his breath would whuffle his cheeks out with contentment. He’d just sit there, breathing happily and leaning on me, until I needed to do something else. By the last year of his life, I’d become so enchanted by his pure devoted presence that I’d sit there for an hour or more like that.

In the beginning, I was as panicky as he was – I was trying to do it all right, endlessly frustrated at what I saw as his “neediness”, his constant medical challenges, his sensitivity (particularly difficult for my big personality and big emotions.)

In the end, he just became joy. Simple, dorky, happy love.

It opened up a place in me that, for all the other pain that came with it, has never been the same, and that I would never give up.

I love you, my boy.

2 Comments
  1. Jessica 6 months ago

    Thank you, Karen,.I’m taking this line away with me, “The delight was never any less after thousands of discoveries.” Hoping we can all remember to see such wonder in the things we’ve seen before.

  2. Ingrid 6 months ago

    What a beautiful story! I’m a puddle on the floor. I have such a soft spot for animals and their pure joy and unconditional love. Thank you for sharing this! ❤

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