Honoring Duke,…

Today, I received one of the biggest honors I can think of,… a wonderful and dear family lost their beloved Duke and was having a visitation. They invited me to join them. They wanted me to come and say my good-byes to this boy that I was so privileged to be one of the first ones that he met when he came to live in their home from a terrible, terrible start in life. This big German shepherd boy who came to their home with such a look of defeat and sadness from living in horrendous conditions his entire life that it broke my heart to even look at him then.

Today, I went to be with them and to pay my respects to this gorgeous and majestic creature. In death, his eyes were still open and, oh, did I see happiness! And peace! And love! And spirit! Yes, in death, I saw all of those in this big guy´s eyes. There was no defeat. There was no sadness. Only warm love.

We had an emotional time together. There were tears. There was laughter. And, as we like to do in our grief journey, we took the important time to truly back up and say “hello” on our way to saying “good-bye” in remembering and honoring Duke. I always wonder when I hear these beautiful stories as I was hearing today – “are we lucky to have them or are they lucky to have us?” Sandra reached out and gave everything to her boy – and nursed him to the point of “proud” that he was today! In turn, he gave her and Dennis such unconditional and spirited love that will always be a part of their heart and soul.

Today starts an emotional journey for them as they grieve their beloved Duke. However, today, it was an honor to be a part of saying “hello” to Duke and to seeing those eyes that said it all.