John Donne said, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. ” (http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/donne/meditation17.php)
When Emmy had to retire, I felt diminished and island-like – alone. But this was all about me, not about Emmy. She had been my assistant for nearly 6 years, and I was bereft. I mourned as if she had died.
But she hasn’t died. She is with my son’s family, and is very happy with them. She is now their beloved pet. She “fell into clover,” as Himself says.
I now know, I have to let go. But I’m now open to the joy of a new dog. Whoever he or she is, there will be a special place for her in our lives and in my heart. It won’t be Emmy’s place. It will be her own place. She can’t and won’t take Emmy’s place – but Emmy couldn’t and wouldn’t take her place.
As a mother, I know each child is loved completely as himself or herself and each has a special place in the mother’s heart. How could I have lost sight of that?! My new dog will have a special place in my heart and be loved completely – just like adding a new child.
I’m surprised it took me this long to realize this! It’s as if a light has gone on inside – a big incandescent bulb that not only gives light, but gives heat. So my mind and heart are enlightened, and I am warmed inside, too.
So, on to the new Woof! It will be several months, but I will be preparing – reviewing my notes from the training camp I attended; reviewing the materials they gave me; reviewing my copy of “Don’t Shoot the Dog!” I will especially review the cues and re-memorize any I have forgotten (I don’t think I have, but I’ll review them, anyway!) I’m ready, and I’m preparing! New Woof, you have your own place in my heart waiting – just for you!