disabled dogs

The Perfect Ending to a Deeply Personal Day

The Perfect Ending to a Deeply Personal Day
Visiting Frankie’s statue at Bookworm Gardens

It was the perfect ending to  such a sacred, deeply moving, magical day as I laid Frankie’s ashes to rest on the 5th anniversary of her passing yesterday morning. On Tuesday I wrote about how I came to this decision for this special day, and yesterday I shared how I followed my heart and how the timing of how this private ceremony would unfold. 

It became obvious to me as the last two days have unfolded that I have touched what my friend Diane said, as the collective heart. There was a small part of me that hesitated in sharing such a deeply personal experience because a part of me felt vulnerable. But now I have nothing but gratitude for doing so.

So many of you here, and on my Facebook page, shared so many beautiful thoughts and love that it truly only enriched this special moment in time for me. Also hearing from many of you sharing that I’ve helped you by being open with my heart about this experience, well, that means so much…and I know Frankie is so proud of that.

There are moments in life when you look back and you are able to really see the synchronicity and perfect timing of things – how life just flowed – and you were being guided by something bigger than you.

Such is the case the last two days – and really even before this. Last week I had gone to a second hand store wanting a new (or rather, I should say, pre-loved) casual dress or two. And it wouldn’t hit me as how perfect it was the one I found when my friend, Jessica sent me the pictures she took of me yesterday afternoon with Frankie’s statue at Bookworm Gardens.

I wasn’t even sure I was going to go to Bookworm Gardens on the anniversary of Frankie’s passing, but after scattering her ashes I knew I wanted to. And it just so happened I was having lunch with a lovely young lady, Jessica, who is my neighbor, and just graduated from college and will be getting married later this summer.  

The serendipity of us having lunch together near Bookworm Gardens, never really knowing each other too well all these years we’ve been neighbors… well, that is a whole other story I’ll write about some other time. But I have no doubt that God meant for her and I to be together yesterday, and for her to be the one taking pictures of me with Frankie’s statue.

While my love for Frankie and what we shared so deeply between us is something that will be with me always, being at the children’s garden yesterday, seeing her statue there, knowing her message lives on – touching new lives each and everyday – well, now I’m at a loss for words. 

The only word I can find is GRATEFUL and grateful I’ll always be.

It was the perfect ending to a day filled with such love and peace that I will carry in my heart forever. And thank you again to each of you for being a part of our journey.

When we share something from the true depth of our souls….and touch that collective heart…I truly believe we all heal.

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I Couldn’t Have Been More Touched

I Couldn't Have Been More Touched
Elaina with Frankie’s likeness at Bookworm Gardens in Sheboygan, WI

As many of you know my dear Frankie’s memory lives on in a wonderful children’s garden called Bookworm Gardens.

Today I received this photo from my sister, Paula. She is living her dream being a nanny to two sweet little girls. This is Elaina. While recently visiting Frankie at the gardens Elaina bent down and lovingly said to Frankie, “Feel better.”

Well goodness… I have tears in my eyes just writing this! I couldn’t have been more touched.

One thing I enjoyed doing when I visited schools and libraries with Frankie and sharing her message and books I wrote about her was helping kids to understand empathy.

If children can grasp empathy oh, what a beautiful future we have! And dear Elaina is leading the way with her compassion and kindness extended to Frankie’s likeness that continues to spread that message even though she will be gone for five years as of June 21st.

What a gift this photo is as I’ve been giving so much thought lately to the anniversary of Frankie’s passing. And that our loved ones, human or pet, continue to be with us in the most special and magical ways.

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Honest Moments Reflecting on Someday without an IVDD Dog

Honest Moments Reflecting on Someday without an IVDD Dog

Our winter has been mild here in Wisconsin, though it’s been rainy and cloudy for most of March. But earlier in the week it was beautiful and I took advantage and walked our 3/4 acre yard with Gidget.

It was delicious to feel the warm sunshine on my face and let the sun soak in my skin, the wind kiss my face, and watch Gidget wiggle walk through the grass. I truly appreciate simple moments such as this.

After our walk around the yard, Gidget was smart and found the perfect spot to rest on the west side of my writing cottage to soak in the rays and be out of the wind.

As I watched her, emotions rose up in my heart. I’m treasuring my time with her as I’m pretty sure when the day comes and she makes her transition, she will be my last dog with IVDD I take in. It will then be time for me to rest from my service to these special dogs.

It’s taken me a few years to be okay with this. But little by little I’ve come to realize it is time. While I continue to voice it out loud to family and friends as a way to hear it and accept it, I’ve also had moments of tears (and feel emotional just writing this post) thinking about it as my heart will always love these special little ones so much.

In many ways it’s hard to picture my life without caring for a dog with IVDD. But I also know I’m tired and it’s okay to be honest about that.

The simple moments I relish more dearly than ever is in part because of what I’ve learned from my wheelie and IVDD dogs – they have put so much into perspective for me of how precious life is. It was meant to be the journey I’ve traveled with each of them.

Just as it will be meant to be when the time comes to continue on my journey in a new way. For now, I soak in all the love and my time with dear Miss Gidget. And perhaps her soul contract with me during this time in my life was to help me come to this decision with peace and acceptance in my heart. Thank you, little one. Thank you.

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