I was out in the back yard yesterday afternoon, checking on the many flowers which have decided it is spring. I hope they don't get an unpleasant surprise. I also came across a couple of Stinky Wink's old toys. He had an odd habit. Very often--but not always--when I asked if he wanted to go outside, he would grab the closest toy he could find (or go hunting for one) and take it outside with us. Once outside, he would drop it in the grass. He never played with it, and I could never figure it out. It was almost like a "ticket" or a "fare" to the other side of the door. I'm sure that in that little steel trap of a Corgi mind there was a reason for it. Sometimes he would go out without a toy. Other times he would run all over the house until he found one. I'll never know the reason, but I like the "fare" theory. I'm beginning to see lessons in the little things Wink did. Dogs don't do things "for the heck of it." They do things for a reason...most of the time for reasons we will never figure out. Maybe it's instinct, maybe not. I don't see any instinct reason for taking the toy and then leaving it. Grief is like a door. We know what's on the other side--something desirable and pleasant, but we have to give something to go through. I am learning that every time I go through that door, I need to give up one of my sad memories of Wink...one of the memories of that awful week. Eventually the sad memories will be gone, and the fare will be paid in full. Will the pain be gone? No. Will the loss be gone? No. But they will be tempered by the happy memories. And there are, after all, so many, many more happy memories than sad ones. Thank you, WInk, for the lessons you continue to teach me, and for the wonderful memories you have left with me, you besses puppo!