Every dog that comes into our lives arrives with a syllabus for us. It is our job to decipher what lessons they are teaching.
On September 2nd Shelby passed from complications of kidney failure and her household of three Mini Schnauzers, a gaggle of cats, and of course her humans Jill and Linda, too, was left with a vacant spot.
When we grieve we process and ponder. It is there that we can see the lessons Shelby brought for us.
She was even tempered, smart and lived her life in the balance. Always up for the walk, she wore the silly hats in class, leapt from the couch for the outside adventures, and happily joined in for the barking at the passing bikes or pedestrians. And, if she were human, she’d always be the first to hold the door for a stranger, or give a hug exactly when it was needed.
Illness plagued Shelby in her last years. Mamas Linda and Jill managed Shelby’s fluids and meds like pros. Coordinating her care was complicated at times – we should all have a medical advocate like Linda. Shelby withstood every prod, poke, new medicine, prescription food, limited diets, and multiple trips to the vet’s with her usual good nature while never getting cranky or snarky with her house mates.
I can see three lessons that Shelby brought for us, perhaps others can see more.
The first was balance – play hard, bark loud, and always be kind to everyone you meet.
The second was all about taking things in stride, from illnesses, to losses, to changes in the home, Shelby was always good with it all. I know for some, this one doesn’t seem like much. But from my own perspective, this is an almost saint-like quality that alludes me on most days.
The third one was about the connections the Universe often shows us that we dismiss or doubt because there are no double-blind studies to confirm what we see.
- Shelby arrived at Jill and Linda’s home on September 4th 2004 – her big sister Kinsey’s birthday.
- She left us on September 2, 2016 – missing her anniversary by two days, and missing Kinsey’s birthday by two days.
- And, when Kinsey passed away, it was a day before Shelby’s birthday.
Remember, in astrological terms, birthdays are not always on the same date on our calendar, but follow the alignment of the planets as they were at our birth. So, who knows…perhaps there’s an even tighter link between Shelby and Kinsey than our calendar shows.
These are the things that make us scratch our heads because we have no good answers for the nature of these connections. However, we can say without doubt, that Shelby and Kinsey had a bond that transcends our mortal understanding.
Shelby will be very missed by her family and all of us who knew her as the sweet, easy-going, gentle soul that she was.
However, she and Kinsey will no longer be missing each other.