Flower was one of my closest friends. She inserted herself into my life by way of cuteness and persistence. It has been over a year since she passed away, yet lately she has been in my mind and on my heart in a new way. Now, is probably a good time to tell you that Flower was our family dog.
We stumbled upon Flower, some would say by accident, others might say it was serendipity at play. I choose to believe the latter. She had recently arrived in our city, accompanied by her brothers and sisters as part of the English Springer Spaniel Rescue Society. For our son, it was love at first sight. In the end, that is what tugged our hearts to inquire about her.
In her later years, our once bounding puppy (seriously, if she liked you, there was no keeping her down from enthusiastically saying hello), dealt with blindness and hearing loss. Even these challenges refused to alter her joyful disposition.
Flower navigated the neighborhood from memory. In this video, she knows the curb is coming as this was her beloved lavender bush, the one I occasionally had to pull her out of as she immersed herself in all its glory.
I think of her often and miss her every time. She was my running buddy for years. Then as my life changed, so did hers. She became my constant companion, under the desk as I began the journey of writing, often stretching out to claim every square inch of floor space.
For months after she passed, we avoided neighborhood walking routes that would take us past her favorite spots. Neighbors, so used to seeing her beside us, shared our grief at her passing. Even dogs we encountered knew our heart's loss, for they would stop and wait for us to meet them and sit patiently as we said hello, absorbing their understanding of our loss.
Flower's favorite spot under my writing desk.
Grief is a shape shifter. It can take you down memory lane as happy images float among your thoughts. Or it can compel you to scream at the world with how unfair it is to have lost someone so dear. My grief has changed as time marches on. The house doesn't feel as empty anymore. I no longer expect to be greeted enthusiastically as I try to bring in an armful of groceries. Yet the wave of sadness that still has the ability to drown me at times, reminds me of how lucky we were to have Flower in our lives.
So today, I choose to remember Flower with a joyful heart and give thanks for all the moments that made up our life together. Our lives are greater because we knew and loved you.
P.S. A big thank you to Scamp for nudging me with his nose as a reminder of what wonderful things life has to offer when a dog is a part of your day.