For some reason last night was not a good one. It seems like every time my wife is away and I go to the store, coming home sets off a chain reaction. I know that no one is there, the tv is not on, most likely the house will be dark, and no wiggle butt greeting me. Then, as I get closer to home, I see our major walk route, the bush where Stinky Wink would stick his entire head inside, and a thousand other little reminders that we will not be walking later. By the time I got into the house, the tears showed up. They didn't last as long, and were not as profuse as before. I guess it was a reminder that grief never totally leaves us--again, it's a matter of management and perspective.

     As a matter of habit, I went to look out the patio door. We have full-length slatted blinds over the doors. Wink would never wait for me to open the blinds. He would stick his head between the blinds and wait for the door to open. As I pulled the blinds so I could see out the door, I started laughing, thinking about that little nut sticking his head in the blinds, expecting that was going to speed-up the opening door. That's part of grief management--the roller-coaster ride from one emotion to another. It's also kind of like those blinds: hiding and revealing, darkness and light. Not long ago I would have cried at the blind reminder. Last night I laughed. That's progress. Thanks for the laughs, Wink. They help to keep me honest with myself, just the way the tears keep me humble. In all of it, my love for you shines, my besses puppo!

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Comment by Chris, Kadi & Brodie on March 6, 2012 at 12:23pm

Randy, I so relate to your roller coaster emotions. For me it was my Dalmatian, Sam. I got him when I was single and he was with me from then, through my getting married, having a child, moving to the farm, always there doing whatever I asked of him. He wasn't a dog--he was my best friend. He's been gone now for almost 9 years, but I still think of him often and miss him deeply. No dog will ever take his place any more than a person can take the place of a lost loved one. But I am so grateful for all the memories I still have of him and I know he's waiting for me on the other side. It's what he did--he waited for me no matter how long it took for me to come back where I put him. Know that Stinky Wink is waiting for you too, and when that time comes, you'll be greeted with love and affection beyond compare!

Comment by Jennifer Markley on March 6, 2012 at 10:41am

Two steps forward, one step back.  You will probably always cry at memories, but be able to laugh at some memories.  That's the wonder of it all....how you can hurt so much, yet still have smiles.  I remember how Dillon, when he couldn't see anymore, would launch himself off the front porch.  He'd get to the door, and just stretch all out while he jumped--and land about 10 feet away.  He looked like superman--we'd laugh and say he needed a cape.  Then I remember how he reached up and bit Amber's toe because he thought it was food she was trying to give him.  Stuff like that.  Then I remember how he was my best friend ever, how he never needed to be on a leash because he just wouldn't run off.  He'd always stick right by me.  We did everything together....and yup, there they are....the tears.  But I thank God every day that He brought him to me for the 16 years we had together.  They were the best days of my life.

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