Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

To love a dog


Social media.  Who knew way back in 2006 when I first started blogging that I’d meet so many people.  Who knew when I stumbled across a blog about an agility dog down in North Carolina that one blog would lead me to other dogs with blogs, and their wonderful owners.

The years slid by with warp speed and, inevitably, some of my favorite dogs have grown old and ill or suddenly (at least to me) moved on to their next adventures on the other side.  So many dogs.

I was thinking about some of them this weekend as my friend Ellen struggles with the terminal cancer of her second ‘Merle Girl’ Boost.  She lost her Tika just last month and now faces the loss of another sweetie.

It’s almost too much to bear, and they aren’t even my dogs.

Tika in 2011

Tika in 2011

I was lucky enough to meet the three of them a couple of years ago.  We even got to go for a walk and I felt honored to hold Tika’s leash while Ellen took some photographs.  After reading about them for so many years I felt like I was in the company of celebrities.

Boost plays with her leash in 2011.

Boost plays with her leash

And now hearing the tragic results of Boost’s tests my heart breaks for Ellen.

I think back to all the great dogs I’ve been lucky enough to get to know, even a little bit, here on the internet.  Sarah’s Misty; I cried all day the morning I read she had been set free.  Most of you remember Honey the Great Dane who danced with her mom at competitions and how sad we were when she had to go.  Eva’s mother Hana who left Eva when she was just a puppy, way too soon, and Dog Dad’s Deacon and Essex  the collies who had to go early as well.   And of course recently Katie’s Maizey and Debi’s Norwood.  Heartbreaking, all of it.

There are more, so many more, and all of these losses make me very sad — but the sadness never cancels out the joyous fun of knowing them in the first place.  And as Ellen herself said many years ago, if you hang out in a world filled with people and their dogs you’re going to face heartbreak.  But she says, and I agree, it’s worth it.

Katie the sheltie-girl puts it succinctly.   “We are only promised today, mama, let’s go to the park!”


Sharing my park with all of you.

Sharing my park with all of you.

Good advice sweetie.  And while we’re there we’ll take a moment to send good thoughts out to Ellen and her Boost.

Ellen and her Merl Girls

Ellen and her Merle Girls

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

23 thoughts on “To love a dog

  1. My heart goes out to your friend too- knowing the pain of having lost my dogs I can understand. It is so wonderful you were able to meet your blogging friend- our relationships with our blogging friends do run deep- we share, we care.


  2. My heart breaks for Ellen. When I read her post, I was at work, and started crying. Just so unfair.


  3. Total torture to lose a dog. My heart goes out to the mama of those pretty merle girls.


  4. I agree. It is all worth it. My heart goes out to Ellen.

    It’s funny how involved we can become in ‘strangers’ lives. But I guess after a short while, we’re not really strangers after all.

    Thank you for loving Misty.


  5. I can’t believe I read this today. As I just spent the weekend with my sick dog who most likely has Cushing’s disease and not a lot of easy hope in sight. Trying to get her antibiotics to tide her over and put off making a decision. I just feel sick at the thought of it. Thanks for writing and caring about dogs, From a fellow sheltie owner who is one big basket case, Cheryl


  6. Like Cheryl, this hit especially hard today, with my Bailey seeming to suddenly be struggling more with her bad hips, and looking to me to make it better. Our furry children bring blessings and tears.


  7. Aw, so hard to think about but so true. This post reminded me of this quote that I found at a dog park:


  8. Hugs to your friend and her dogs! You know, we realize when we take on dog ownership (or is it the other way around??!) that dogs’ lives are typically much shorter than ours. Chances are, we’ll outlive our precious furs. Therefore, we do as much for them as long as we can, knowing that we really have the better part of the deal — who after all, can love as unconditionally as a dog can?!!


  9. I think all we can do is make their lives as happy as they make ours.


  10. What a timely post. I don’t know my sister’s dogs that well, but she’s got two facing very uncertain futures. We’ve been crying together. Then you know about Carol’s girl. Cried over that. Even over many miles, they attach themselves right to our hearts. Love their doggy little souls and hate it when they leave us.


  11. Tika and Boost are together again. Heartbreaking.


  12. Dogs always leave their footprint on your heart, that is for sure. Cats do too, they all do. I think it’s much better for all us to go through the pain of losing them than to never have known them, though. My life is so enriched by my animals I can’t even tell you. I know you understand.


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