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Monday, December 22, 2014

A Gift

It is a season that brings mixed feelings. Memories of those who are gone are mixed with the happiness of spending time with those who are here. We try to focus on the happiness and give thanks.
Three years ago, on the day before Christmas, we found out that K had bone cancer. It was a difficult Christmas, as we pasted smiles on our faces for the festivities, but felt doom in our hearts.

Now, K has been gone for 2.5 years. And, I decided soon after her death to risk my heart all over again. On Shyla.
It wasn't an easy transition for any of us. Shyla was so fearful at the start of her time with us. And, we were still grieving. But, we all took the leap, with our eyes wide open. We started a new journey.
It's been a gradual journey, with sudden moments of realization of how our love has grown.
Yesterday, I had one of those seemingly small moments but it meant a lot to me. We'd had a busy day, with guests at the house and many out-of the-ordinary events. Shyla has learned to cope with many of her fears. However, I fully realize that it takes courage for her to handle life when it's not normal. Christmas festivities are not normal in a dog's eyes.

Last night, at the end of a long day, I lay down in bed, tired to the bone. Shyla joined me, softly rested her head over my heart, and let out a gentle contented sigh as she gazed at me. I knew, right then, that she sees me as her safe harbor - and that she loves me like I love her.
It's been a long journey since that day three years ago - but this girl has made all the difference. She's her own dog with her own spirit - but sometimes I feel like K is guiding her from above.

31 comments:

  1. Once again, I feel like your post speaks right to my heart. It is so hard to think about opening my heart again, I miss Greta so much. But I also know it is what will help my heart heal. thank you for sharing your journey.
    Linda
    Bailey & Hazel too

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  2. Shyla is so clearly such a special dog.

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  3. Awe... Very well said!! Shyla is so beautiful! I bet K is watching down on both of you. :) ~hugs~

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  4. This is all so true; I lost my oldest dog Josey a few weeks ago. My other three are dear to me, but Josey was my special dog. So it is indeed a bittersweet time for me as I try to remember Josey without so much sadness, and try to be in the moment with my other dogs and appreciate my time with them...

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  5. K will always send love and inspiration to both of you.

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  6. We are sure K is sitting right on sweet Shyla's shoulder guiding her all the way. She sure is a special girl and you are lucky to have each other.

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  7. It's the gift that you bring that makes these dogs so wonderful. It's the love you show reflected by their shiny fur, their clear eyes.... I know the heartbreak of losing dogs we love, but I also see the fears and nervousness leave the ones we adopt....sometimes it takes awhile, but it's true, all you need is love.....

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  8. Taking a chance on love is rarely a bad decision!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  9. Thank you KB, for always speaking from your heart... and sharing memorys that are painful to remember.
    You help so many with what you say,, I see it time after time,, your words of comfort in how you have handled loss and hurt.
    I cannot thank you enough,,
    and I also wanted to say- all the fears you had about allowing yourself to love again, how it held you back for awhile,,, and then Shyla has noticed when you were one hundred percent there for her,,,, even though you always were,,,, she was holding back too. Time has accomplished what time does.. It does not heal completely,,,but it does mend.
    We agree- K leads,,, yes she does
    love
    tweedles

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  10. Another heart-dog? You are loved!

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  11. Tears running down my cheeks while reading this. I've said it before but I just know K led you to Shyla, she knew what both of you needed and that was each other! Merry Christmas KB and enjoy that new bike!!

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  12. Your stories of Shyla give me so much strength and faith that Macy and I are on the right path! Mabel's loss was so sudden and in so many ways, I feel she sent me Macy Blue... as I'm sure K sent Shyla to you.

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  13. I can't believe K has been gone 2 years and Pip's gone over a year now. Seems like just yesterday for both of them. But you are right, we must go on and love again and now we both have new loves in our lives while our first loves (K and Pip) watch over all of us.

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  14. Wonderful and moving post. I'm still hoping I'll get there too.

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  15. What a gentle post. Full of love and hope.

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  16. I'm so happy you found one another. I'm still mourning for K, and it can't even compare with how you feel.

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  17. New dogs can never replace remembered ones, but they do make your heart bigger!

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  18. We adore you and Shyla, KB. You are a wonderful team ♥

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  19. It has been wonderful to see the changes in Shyla! Our loved furry kids will always have a very special place in our hearts.

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  20. Mommy's in tears reading your beautiful words this morning. Three cheers for "new beginnings".

    Hugs,
    Lily Belle & Muffin

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  21. this post spoke to many of our hearts. Your blog was one of the first I had read when I first started blogging and that was three years ago, I will always remember the beautiful tribute you did for K. It is hard to open our hearts to love again, but so many dogs out there need us, and so many of "us" need them.
    Merry Christmas Stella rose and momma

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  22. You are so lucky to have each other.

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  23. KB I had tears in my eyes when I read these words. We all are looking for a safe place to fall - on the best days, the worst days, and every day in between. I think my favorite sound is a dog's sigh - Shyla trusts you completely. That is a precious gift that will keep growing and getting stronger over time.

    Happy Holidays from all of us here at the Taylor house!

    Diane, Dave and Indy

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  24. You and Shyla were just what each other needed! It's wonderful to see!

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  25. As many others have said, I also find myself with tears streaming as I read this post. I lost my beautiful gelding this past June. He was two days away from his 16th birthday and we spent seven years fighting one of the most horrid diseases a horse can have...laminitis. It affects the feet and is so incredibly painful.
    I have been lucky enough to have two heart horses in my life and he was the second one. I have a little reminder of him sitting on a fence post near his final resting spot. Amazingly, it is still sitting there...through wind, rain and snow, it has not moved. He is watching over us, much as K is watching over you and Shyla.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family and many blessings for the new year!

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