Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dude is now Toby

Animal control never got back to us. So I guess we are now the proud owners of Toby.

He is the just the sweetest dog little dog. He is mellow and laid back. Fully house trained and obedient and the best thing; he doesn’t shed.

Once he was someone's pet.

I absolutely don’t understand, why any one would just neglect such a sweet dog. There might be reasons, but no excuses. This could have been an elderly person, who maybe got sick and could no longer care for him. But that is not what I believe happened.

I believe that some one had him, found out that he was getting old and sick, and just could not be bothered any more. So one early Saturday morning they took him for his last ride. Stopped the car and opened the door and let him out, only to drive away and let him fend for himself. I don’t think he had been outside fending for himself for a long time, before he found us. He wasn’t skinny, but he had been severely neglected. His fur was so matted and according to the vet, that would have taken at least 6 months to get to that stage.

The vet shaved off the worst matting, and yesterday, I took him to the groomer. I suspected, that she had to shave him because there was still a lot of matting left.

She did. He looks completely different, but no more mating left. His fur will grow back.

I can’t help, but to think of Martin. He was sick too. Should I just have tossed him, of course not to the street, but to an institution, because of his problems and challenges.

What does it say about us as people if we can’t open our hearts to someone who is different.

Why does it have to be “perfect”, when “perfect” is just an illusion? It doesn’t really exist. And in the pursuit of perfection we forget where the true beauty lies.

In the imperfections.

However in order to see them we have to see with our hearts and not just our eyes.

By the way, I apologies for the photo. Toby does not like to have his picture taken. He turns his head and closes his eyes and even leaves the room, when he sees or even hears the camera.

I hope one day to have a picture that justifies how cute and sweet he really is.

This story about Toby coming to us, reminds me of all the times I have watched the shows on Animal planet, about abused and neglected dogs and the transformation they go through when rescued.

I am aware that not all stories have a happy ending, but i will make sure, that this one does.

He truly deserves it.

What's your story Dude

Mike and I have talked about getting a dog. We both agreed, that we wanted a rescue and not a puppy. Neither of us have the energy or patience.

We really haven’t put a great effort in to the search, because the timing isn’t right. We’ re going to Denmark in August, so we wanted to wait till we got back.

I have always heard, that you don’t choose a rescue dog, they choose you. I believe that more now.

Saturday morning Mike calls me and tells me that a dog is in our yard.

The dog looks very lost and confused. We don’t recognize him. Mike lured him in with some meat. He was both thirsty and hungry. He is very friendly, even if he is somewhat scared.

Who is this dog and what is his story?

It is clear that he has been neglected for quite some time. He is very matted around his legs and eyes and his nails were very long. But even if he was in pain, he still trusted us enough to let us pet him. That was one of the reasons we believed, that he had until recently belonged to some one. Been some ones pet, even if he had been neglected.

We called animal control. Maybe he had run away from his owner and the owner was an old person, who was not able to care for him.

“What is your story dude”? was the one question we kept repeating, but couldn’t get an answer to. Mike started to call him Dude. The way he looked, it kind of fitted.

I looked in Dude’s mouth and I could see he was missing a couple of teeth and his dental hygiene was pitiful. It made me think that Dude was an old dog and maybe had medical problems.

We decided to take him to the vet. Even if we didn’t keep him, no dog deserves to be treated the way he had been treated.

The vet confirmed he was an old dog. She thought is was about 8 or 9 and he had a heart murmur. But no heart worms. The vet shaved off the worst of the matting and clipped his nails. She told us that it would take at least 6 months for the coat to become this matted. Poor guy.

30 minutes at the vet had costs us $200. We didn’t even know if we could keep him.

But we had done a good deed for the dude.

He was so happy to get rid of the matting and the long nails, that he was jumping around, wagging his tale, looking up at us, as if he said thank you.

The little toothless dude had captured our hearts. Both Mike and I knew, if animal control didn’t contact us soon, it would become increasingly difficult to give him up.

We bought some dog food to last us the weekend, just in case.

We had a dog for the weekend, but what about tomorrow?

In loving Memory

God saw him getting tired, a cure was not to be,
so He put his arms around him, and whispered,
” Come with me”

It is 8 years ago today, that God took my son back. Sometimes it feels like yesterday and sometimes it feels like two years.
Any one who has buried a child will know, that you will never get over it. It is said, that time heals everything. I disagree. Time heals nothing. Time is just time and the grief, sadness, anger, can be just as devastating 10 years after a child’s death, than the day after. Time will pass no matter how you feel and what you do.
You have to go through the process of grieving and bereavement, and there are no right or wrong way of grieving. Just your way.
Tell others how you feel, but if they themselves haven’t experienced a loss of a child, don’t expect them to fully understand.
The ultimate determinant in healing the horrendous wound when a child dies is love. As i said earlier time by itself heals nothing, but time plus love fosters healing. Accept that life is for the living. It takes effort to begin to live again and not dwell on the past.
But keep the memory alive. Look at pictures, remember special times and share that memory with friends and family.
I remember, that someone asked me, very soon after he died,” that now that he is dead, that must be a relief, because he was so sick. And now it is your turn to live”
I got really angry, thinking, how the f.... dare he say that?
But I controlled myself and answered, that I had been living all these years. It may not have been the life, I dreamt of, planned for, or hoped for, but I was still living. And as for the relief part, I had to say, that I would do it all again, just to have my son with me.
Secretly, a part of me was somewhat relieved, because it had been hard, heartbreaking and very often I had been close to breaking point, but that thought made me feel guilty, so I quickly thought of something else. A mother is not supposed to think like that...
I have learned so much from Martin. I learned how people are judged by what they look like or act like, more than what they have in their hearts and souls. We often don’t make the time and effort to find out, that we can learn from people who appear to be different.
Martins body may have been broken, but his soul, spirit and love was very much intact, probably more so than mine. He loved, because that was what he was and that is what he gave to the world. He wasn’t able to be influenced by outside sources.
He taught me that there is no greater force in life than love. I believe that it is where we all come from and to where we all return, when our time comes. It may sound like cliche, but love does conquer all. And the time we spend together in love, is never wasted.
He spend many hours in my arms. He even died in my arms.
I carried his coffin out of the church and after he had been cremated, I carried the urn to the grave and I put in in the ground myself. I couldn’t just let anyone else do it.
I carried him in life, I had to carry him in death.
Now my arms feel empty. But I carry him in my heart.
I will never get over his death and there is not a day, where I haven’t thought of him, missed him, cried over him, but I will get through it and come out on the other side.
I will carry on living my best life, just like he thought me.
To me that is the best way to honor his memory.

LOVE is spelled TIME

Everybody knows that a day is 24 hours and an hour is 60 minutes. But what is TIME?

And why does it feel so differently to us? Haven’t we all at one point uttered: I wish there was more time, or I am bored, I have too much time on my hands.

You really don’t, you still have the exactly same amount of time, it just feels that way.

The reason I am writing about this is, I am thinking a lot about time and values. Do we spend time on the things and people, which really matters to us?

Next week, the 2 year anniversary of my son’s death is coming up. Normally an anniversary is something to celebrate, but obviously not this one.

But it makes me think of the time Martin and I spent together. Almost 17 years. I was very privileged to live in a country were I was allowed to get paid full salary to be his mother and caretaker. That meant, I didn’t have to go to work and let other people look after him, after the normal 9 months maternity leave. I have always known that Martin’s time here on earth was on “borrowed” time, so I wanted to make sure that the time we spend together was quality time. I believe that nobody will say on their deathbed” I wish I spend more time in the office”!

Unfortunately many will say, I wish I had spent more time, with my family and loved ones.

I am lucky. Martin taught me about quality time while he was alive. I wish, I could have had more time, even if the time we did spend was often full of heartbreak, worry, fear, but I promised my self that even going through the worst days, some good could would come out of it. Finding good in bad. Putting your focus on the positive instead of negative.

I became very good at it. I had a lot of time to practice.

Next week it is 2 years since his death. I can’t say untimely death, because I truly believe that all timing is perfect, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.

2 years. 730 days. 17520 hours. There are days when it feels like yesterday and there are days where I just can believe so much time has passed. Where did the time go?

I have known a lot of children who has passed and many of their mothers had the child name tattooed somewhere on their body. It is a way for them to remember them by. I thought about it, but as I don’t like pain, I came up with something else. I bought a quality watch, to represent the quality time we spend together. So if you ask me what time it is, I can honestly say, it is quality time.

If you can take anything away from this, please think about what and who is important to you and make sure you let them know, every day. Never let anything be unsaid.

Spend time on the things you love to do and with the people you love.

I like spending this time writing this, so maybe you can find your own quality time and remember. LOVE is spelled TIME.