In honor and memory of my beloved and unforgettable, Riley
Having worked in hospice care for many years, I'm no stranger to death. Even through death, beauty can arise and often does. The gift is in seeing it. I'm lucky enough to have been able to see almost immediately some higher purpose in the death of my beautiful little Scottie, Riley.
Macie and I just met yesterday and I want to start our story now as it has an interesting beginning.
For the last 7 and a half years I've loved a Scottish Terrier named Riley. Riley had me from the first peek in to her little puppy crate. From that day on Riley was my girl. She followed me around, whined at the door when I would leave and moped around when I was gone on trips. When I decided to start a new life in Colorado a year ago after making some very painful decisions, I decided to take Riley with me. Riley was a trooper. She took everything in stride; a month with a friend, her daughter and their two cats in San Antonio, trips to and from strange boarding places, motel rooms, a long drive to Colorado and lots of new adventures. This was a very stressful time for both of us and honestly, I can't imagine having done it completely alone. Riley has been my savior and my very best friend througout this past year.
On Tuesday, July 22, my Riley died. I came home around noon after having been out working for about 3 hours. I knew something was very wrong since she always either met me at the door or was coming around the corner having just woken up from a nap. There she was, laying on the bathroom floor as if taking a nap. Of course, I was shocked but this wasn't my first time to experience such an event. I called the vet, said my good-byes, wrapped her up in a red, tartan plaid blanket and took her in to be cremated. The cause of Riley's death will most likely remain a mystery. She was only 7 and had no apparent serious health concerns or recent adverse events.
This very same day, I decided that I would not wait to start looking for my next canine love. I was 100% sure that I wanted to adopt an adult dog and knew that it might take some time to find the right one. I had often considered bringing a second dog into our home but Riley wasn't really a fan of the existence of other dogs on this planet, so I had dropped the idea. As I had already considered this possibility, I knew I wanted a larger breed terrier of some sort that would be happy living the life of Colorado adventure. That very day, I found a mixed breed Airedale on a rescue site and emailed her human.
I got an email from Casey's human mom the very next day. Apparently the two of them had been together for the past 5 years after she had rescued Casey from a shelter. A couple of years ago Casey's mom had gotten married, moved and started a family. After moving to their most recent home with a back yard, Casey began acting out her frustrations. With much consideration, Casey's family decided that it would be best for everyone to find a new home for her where she could get lots of one on one attention and not have the stress of an ever changing family life with small children. Casey's family had been looking for the perfect home for her for months, not finding anyone who they felt would be a good match for her. After much emailing back and forth with questions of each other, we all agreed that Casey would most likely be very happy here with me.
For a few reasons I'll not go in to now, I decided to change Casey's name to something that rhymed with Casey to minimize any confusion for her. Casey would soon begin a new life as Macie. Macie and her adult family arrived on Saturday, July 26th. Macie was living in Northeast Texas. Her loving family decided to make the trip to Colorado to bring her here. This seemed perfect to me as I wanted Macie's family to see where she would be living and to feel confident that she would have a great life.
Two days ago, I went to the Airedale rescue site where I first saw Macie to look at the ad again. It wasn't there. I supposed that it had been removed once it was determined that Macie would come to live with me. I asked about the ad when Macie and her family arrived and was told that nothing had been done with it and that they had not told about a time limit. I checked again and indeed the posting for Macie and another mixed Airedale were gone. Had I not started looking quickly, I would never have seen this posting. Macie has been here a whole 24 hours now and acts as if she's been here as long as I have. She seems to be adjusting very well to her new home.
I can't help but wonder about the hand of divinity in all of this. It all seems like divine orchestration to me. Not a day goes by that I am not in wonder and awe of the unfolding of life, especially when one allows the unfolding to happen without judgment, without guilt, blame, shame or any of the other negative emotions with which humans seem determined to attach.
As is often said these days; it is what it is. The beauty in life is always there. It is our responsibility to look for it and to see it, however it may arise.