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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Black Dog Sunday

As I rode my bike today, I was thinking about our Black Dog. I tried to think realistically about how my relationship with him evolved over the years. As a young dog, he was wild. Indeed, he was so wild that I had some trouble appreciating him. I wanted him to calm down. At the time, I didn't yet realize that his endless joy for life was what I'd end up loving the most about him.

Then, I started doing more things with him solo. I'd take him for little bike rides to enjoy the flowers or the leaves or the snow. During our outings, I'd do bits of training. Our bond started to grow.

Later on in his life, his elbow dysplasia got really bad. The vets said that all of the cartilage was gone from his elbow and the bones were banging together. There was only one kind of surgery that would help him. But, after a lot of research, I discovered that no one in our area did it. That discovery made my bond to him so obvious to me - I became doggedly determined to get him the surgery. I searched and searched, and I finally found a superb veterinary surgeon who was willing to fly to us and do the surgery. That filled my heart with hope.

After his surgery, the recovery exercises cemented our bond. We turned them into games - hilarious and fun games that both of us loved. That bit of fun time that we spent together every single day cemented our bond.

At that point, I had learned how to appreciate our Black Dog for who he was - an absolutely joyful soul - so joyful that he couldn't contain himself at times.

As I think about the evolution of our relationship, I know that it taught me to figure out who each of our dogs is and to try connect with each of their unique spirits. We have wildly divergent personalities in our current two dogs - but I've learned to love them both, mainly by finding things that bond me to them (and them to me).

Our Black Dog taught me that. I'm so glad that he and I found such a deep connection which taught me so much. Of course, that makes me miss him even more but it was so worth it.

Happy Black Dog Sunday.


  1. Hari OM
    ... and one can't help but think this bonding can carry over into our human relationships, understanding the individuality but finding the common ground! YAM xx

  2. I agree with what you have said about humans being different and we have had six dogs and not a single one of them was like any of the others. All had distinctive personalities just like your dogs. When we adopted big boy we told the lady we wanted to adopt a black dog because I read that black dogs don't get adopted because people miss seeing them and looking at this photo of our and how absolutely gorgeous he is makes me wonder why people don't want black dogs

  3. What a great legacy R has created for you. We appreciate how each of us is different and has unique places in our home life.

  4. Wonderful lessons from such a incredible dog. We could all learn from that, not just about dogs but people too.

  5. You were one in a million, R, and you had the most beautiful spirit and soul♥

  6. He shone with happiness, and I remember the physio and rehab you did together for so long, weaving in-between chairs, the wobble board, one paw up at a time, balancing, your endless patience and his inner strength, R will always live on in your heart and ours, as we celebrate Black Dog and all he was.

  7. I feel like each dog we have brings something special into our lives, and teaches us something. R outdid himself in that department. ♥

  8. KB what a beautiful post about R who enriched the lives of all who knew him.
    Hugs Cecilia

  9. We sure do miss Black Dog R and his fun adventures. He truly was a fun pup and very loved as well.

  10. Oh my, that first photo made me laugh out loud!

    Your point is well made - by making room in one's heart for individual differences, one's heart expands. We do miss that Black Dog; we continue to appreciate his lessons. Who could imagine that your young goofball would turn into a wise elder statesman (with a glint of one-eyed mischief!)?

    Chris from Boise

  11. We all learned wonderful lessons from that sweet and special R!

  12. That first photo made my whole face smile.


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