Today is the anniversary of our beloved Stella’s passing. I wrote this shortly after she died. I have shared it with people who have lost pets and other loved ones. People seem to find it comforting. Please feel free to pass it along.
Today, my grief has mostly morphed to gratitude – but I offer this as a tribute and a touchstone for anyone who is struggling with the realities of mortality in our immortal existence.
“It’s time,” I tell Hugh.”
He rises from the computer and strides to my office, where she lies on the blue carpet. She greets him, delighted to see him. She doesn’t get up, but is bright-eyed alert. She thumps her tail and gives her biggest grin.
Hugh says, “Are you sure?”
I shake my head and shudder because just now, I almost killed our dog.
At night she weakens.
I know and Hugh agrees. Tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow is the day I will carry my sweet gift of a girl to the car and drive her to the vet for the last time. Hugh asks if I will come to bed and I say, “No, I will spend this last night glued to Stella.”
Today, driving my privileged dogs to their privileged hike in the mountains of beautiful Ojai, I had to pull over to the side of the road. I couldn’t see through my tears. A mother was on the radio. She spoke of her son, a boy killed in the nightclub in Orlando.
In the aftermath of this shooting, I know this: This one feels terrible. This one feels personal. This one feels like something must be done.
Tour de Cluck:
Why would three grown-up professional women dress like chickens and ride rented bicycles on a rainy day in Davis California?
Two of my sisters (Judy and Carol) and I recently participated in the Tour de Cluck, an annual bike tour of backyard chicken coops. It’s for charity. Each biker-chick pays an entry fee that supports a farm to school program. School lunches, gardens, and recycling programs flourish because people like us, born to be wild, pay to bike-waddle from coop to coop.
I didn’t expect the Rose Bowl Parade. I thought in terms of Gay Pride – hundreds of costumed well-intentioned citizens for a worthy cause. The Tour de Cluck was smaller than Gay Pride. Plus I counted only four people dressed as chickens – my sisters, me, and one other dedicated soul.
It was totally worth it. I would do it again.
My friend Brock talks about “the dearness of things” and the Tour de Cluck allowed me to hover in “Dearness.”