A Leash, a Walk, and a New Start…

Posted: August 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

Since Hans passed, it seems that nearly everything in my life has changed.  So many changes that they just weren’t processing in my head.  I wasn’t quite sure how I would ever get around all of them…

First, we’ve finally made our much desired move back to my favorite place in the entire world, Northern Michigan.  I’ve joined a wonderful Boarding /Training facility there, called Paws and Claws, and it already feels like home.  CarolAnn has joined me in working there as well, and that’s a unique pleasure.  Many other changes have taken place in living arrangements, our regular worship, different friends, new friends, new challenges…But Hansie’s death still hangs over me, like a wet blanket.  He’s not where he belongs.  He’s not where I need him.  Mostly, I realized, he’s not where I want him.  But there’s nothing that I can do about it.

The curative power of place seems to help.  A couple of days ago, I awoke early, even for me, an avowed morning bird.  There was only twilight, sprinkled with birdsong, as I dressed to walk into the morning.  I had slept lightly, the world whirling in my brain most of the night.  I don’t know what was moving me to walk, but here I was.  As I walked to door, I saw Hansie’s leash hanging in it’s place, a black mark on the wall behind it from constant rubbing against the drywall.  It hadn’t been touched since his interment in the glade where I put him to his rest.  Somehow, this morning, it seemed to call to me.  I took it down, put the loop over my hand, and went out the door.  Just me and a leash that was firmly attached to eight years of intense memories.

The path thru the pine forest is well worn, pungent with earthy smells, and alive with bird calls.  Hans would be here, nose to the ground in a better world, a world where he was still alive.  But that is not to be, and I feel diminished.

I sense that it’s time to move ahead  with life. For the time being, I’ll give Holly, our other German Shepherd, more attention, and there are lots of other dogs at work to focus on.  Our return home has had the positive effect of rejuvenation on me though…Out of the city environment, away from the traffic and grayish brown air, there’s a new enthusiasm for…WEll, just everything.  My work at Paws and Claws is actually fun, and I feel motivated to do my work again.  Our circle of friends has grown as well, and our circle of old friends has taken on added importance.

Still, I hold an empty black leash in my hand.  I have decided to hang it in a our new home on a peg with the other leashes.  Will I attach it to a new puppy anytime soon,?  Or should it become a memory that stays where it always belonged?  I haven’t answererd that question yet…But I have finally come to terms with the world as it now is for us.  I’m glad to be home, happy to be alive, and once again feeling like writing.  Life goes forward, and I’m ready to move with it.

Thank you Hans, my dear friend.  You will always be on your leash at my side…


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