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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Letting Go

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You probably noticed that I changed my banner photo a few days ago. You probably also noticed that I had a banner photo of K up for years after her death. She died of bone cancer at age eight in July of 2012.

You probably have figured out that I'm not good at "moving on". I'd known for years that I should change the banner photo - but I couldn't bear to let go of that tangible reminder of K that I saw every time I opened my blog. I've found that "letting go" of K has been a multi-year process. For me, "letting go" has meant that I've gradually accepted that, although K isn't here physically, she's still in my heart.
Just recently, I consciously acknowledged two things. First, K was far more than what can be seen in a photo. Her true essence was in her loving heart, and that spirit is now in my heart. And, the spirit of K is what I want to keep alive rather than the physical reminders of her. Living the journey of her life, including the poignant final months of her life, changed me forever.
The second thing that I realized is that now is Shyla's time. She's in the prime of her life, and her bond with me has blossomed like I never truly expected that it would. It's time to celebrate Shyla.
R knew that it was Shyla's time right from the start. I took this series of photos of the two of them, in a sun puddle, during Shyla's first months with us. Obviously, they were immediately smitten with each other.
For those of you newer to this blog, just so you don't think that R is neglected, let me explain that he and Runner have an incredible bond. R's heart belongs to the Runner, and R spends most of his outdoor fun time with the Runner. They run on the trails behind our house daily. They share an exuberance for life that makes me smile.
Regardless of whether I have K's banner photo at the top of this page or not, she is still with me. She taught me so very much about the kind of bond that's possible with a dog. She helped make me a better human for Shyla.
Shyla is her own dog with her own heart. She does things her way... and I love her for it. In the next photo, she is standing on the perch where I took K's banner photo years ago. My two girls...
I cannot imagine how I possibly became so lucky as to have K in my life and now Shyla.
Yes, Shyla it's your time. Angel K is guiding both of us but I celebrate your unique spirit.

29 comments:

  1. I agree that K made you a better person for Shyla, and also just for you. It's a hard road recovering from a loss that takes a piece of your soul with it, but I think sometimes, the person that emerges from that loss is even better than the one before. I have always loved your talent for seeing beauty, both internal beauty and the natural beauty around you!

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  2. A beautiful post honoring two wonderful companions. Thank you so much for sharing them with us!

    L

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  3. We agree, such a wonderful post. I must tell you that my Dad fell in love with that header photo of Shyla. Sometimes he just pops by during the day to see it and smile.

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  4. What a great reminder that living in the moment doesn't mean that the past is any less cherished. :)

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  5. A heartfelt post.. From here it looks like love getting passed along from one heart to another. You express the special human-animal bond so well and how there are no 'replacement' dogs. Each relationship is unique and special and as you say, changes us for the better.

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  6. That was beautiful. It's so hard when we lose a dog, but new love and different bonds wait with another dog. K is always there, but yes, this time is for Shyla, And what great photos of her and R.

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  7. I'm not good at letting go either... It's your blog and I'll visit no matter who is in the header.

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  8. KB...your post today is beautiful. I completely understand your difficulty in letting go. I lost my beautiful gelding this past June. His photo graces the screen on both my computer and my phone. I also use his photo on my Facebook page. I have thought about changing it, but I'm not ready. Perhaps in time it will be okay. But not now. It's too fresh. But I'm so glad you are able to keep K in your heart and let your Shyla shine through! I absolutely LOVE the new header photo of Shyla. It makes me smile every time I see it!

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  9. This is such a beautiful post! Letting go is really hard! <3 ~hugs~

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  10. You found that special moment, when the time was right..
    Yes,, K is in your heart.
    love
    tweedles

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  11. All things in the time they are meant to be. There is no timeline for transition and growth. I understand and celebrate your evolution. It is wonderful when our hearts and beings are ready to expand and hold the gift of new love. You are blessed.

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  12. That was so beautifully written. What a beautiful bond you share with all of your wonderful animals. Charlie's Mum, Lynn

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  13. In spite of the heartache and health problems, you have been blessed. Thank you for sharing both the good and the bad with us. It enriches our lives.

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  14. Each dog in our lives leaves memories in our hearts.

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  15. This is full of the most heartfelt words from you, and I wondered when I saw the new header photo, there would be a reason, K will always be with you in spirit and in your heart, but those photos of R and Shyla, show the bond they had so soon.Hugs and much love, I have tears, and am sure we all realise the strength, tempered with some sadness, and some happiness, as you wrote.

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  16. Howdy Mate. Isn't that the beauty of our dogs. They just keep on bringing out the best in us even after they've gone. Each and every one gives themselves to us in their own way and change us forever. A beautiful post. It took me a year to wash off the paws prints, which were six feet up our back door, after Brucey died. I took a photo of them before I did too. Take care.
    No worries, and love, Carol and Stella and Rory

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  17. Carrying those who have left in our hearts always is one of life's greatest gifts. As is the realisation that the love and life you are living are utterly precious. You have been twice blessed with those wonderful girls.

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  18. What an incredibly beautiful post, KB. Huge hugs to you ♥

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  19. Beautifully written KB! (as we type with tears in our eyes.....)

    Hugs,
    Lily Belle & Muffin

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  20. I did notice the change in your header, and laughed because I could see all the spirit and adventure in that little dogs soul. I know how hard it was for you to change it though, I loved this post.....words from the heart.
    stella rose

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  21. from "Wild Grapes" by Robert Frost
    "I had not learned to let go with the hands,
    As still I have not learned to with the heart,
    And have no wish to with the heart—nor need,
    That I can see. The mind—is not the heart.
    I may yet live, as I know others live,
    To wish in vain to let go with the mind—
    Of cares, at night, to sleep; but nothing tells me
    That I need learn to let go with the heart."

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  22. i know exactly how you feel. i lost my kibbles in 2010 also to cancer. i can't tell you how many times i still cry for her. but we must move on. when we found bailey in 2011, i was afraid to love her. i couldn't even tell her that i loved her because i felt i would somehow be betraying kibbles. the day i realized it's "bailey's time", my heart opened wide and bailey was just waiting to jump in. kibbles also made me a better person for bailey. she will never replace kibbles in my heart, but i realized my heart is paw-shaped and is able to love again.
    xoxo, bailey unleashed

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  23. I get a lot of questions on why Monty isn't more in the blog. Monty is Aaron's dog, heart and soul, while Harlow is my girl. It's still hard for me to move on from Sam, but I find it helps me to still include him in blog posts.

    Monty and Harlow

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  24. Beautiful beautiful post.
    Linda & the kids

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  25. This is such a warm and touching post, KB. Thank you for sharing raw emotion with us. You and Shyla are blessings to each other. This set of pictures is so heartwarming, LOVE the bond they have!
    Xo Jeanne, Chloe and LadyBug

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