I did a micro-adventure with our Black Dog around sunrise a day before his death. We went out in the flowers near our house, played little games, and enjoyed each others' company. After he was gone, I knew that the photos from it were sitting on a memory card in my camera. I didn't want to look but I also didn't want to lose them. So, I uploaded them, and here are a couple of photos from our time together that day.
What they show me is that R was feeling good. He was bright-eyed and happy. In his classic way, he was finding joy in the morning even though it was a "micro" adventure and not a gigantic adventure like he often had earlier in his life.
This was the very last photo that I ever took of him. My heart is so full of love as I look at it.
The suddenness of his death has left my spirit reeling. At first, I felt angry at the universe for taking him away from us so suddenly and having it be so traumatic. I kept thinking, " Why bother to try to enjoy life? It'll just kick you to the ground."
Soon after those thoughts, our Black Dog's face came to my mind's eye. I saw his utter joy over every meal, every treat, every walk, every friend to greet, every stranger to meet, every dog to play with, and every moment that he could fill with love and joy. His legacy is having taught me that it's always worth living life with joy and exuberance. Of course, we will all die - that is for sure. But we should love as many moments along the path of life as we can. Our Black Dog did.
I think that R's spirit will guide me for the rest of my life. I will shed tears for him, and I've already shed buckets, but I will also try to live as he did.
I have the idea that I might keep Black Dog Sunday going for a while. I want to go through the photos from his whole life and remember the stories from each phase of his life. Would it make you sad for me to do that? Neither I nor our Black Dog would want that. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Because R would want me to say it: Happy Black Dog Sunday. He's watching over all of us.
Thank you for your love and support.