This year can’t be over a minute too soon.
It’s ridiculous, I know, to think that one sunset and sunrise will somehow change the disposition of the universe, that tomorrow my driveway will suddenly sprout good-luck flowers with solid-gold centers. (I’m not even sure what those would would look like — maybe sunflowers? Which would certainly impede my ability to get in and out of my house.)
That’s what magical thinking — not to mention astrology — is about, the bargains we try to make with the universe, the order we like to think exists.
But it’s not irrational to hope that next year will be better than this one.
Misery doesn’t love company
Many things happened that made me unhappy and distressed but it will come as no surprise to anyone here that the worst was having to say good-bye to Frankie.
And, then, somehow, friends started losing their pets too. I don’t instinctively understand the expression “misery loves company”; the one that speaks to me is “I feel your pain.” Every word of a new loss felt like a body blow. The news not only brought all my feelings of Frankie back, but made me upset that people I cared about were suffering too — a one-two punch.
The four that hit me hardest, in the order of their occurrences:
- My friend Cynthia, pictured above, said good-bye to her greyhound, Harmony, a few days after she threw a wake for Frankie. She didn’t tell anyone it was going to happen at the time because it would have made a sad occasion even sadder. That’s just like Cynthia — generous to the bone. Harmony had a great life with her.
- Leo of Kenzo the Hovawart bid farewell to Viva. He wrote a beautiful post in her honor, Chasing Sunsets, that makes me cry even thinking about it.
- After a long and valiant struggle, Roxanne Hawn of Champion of My Heart lost the fight to keep her beloved Lilly alive. Again, she can express the pain far more eloquently than I can. Here is Lilly’s obituary.
- As I wrote on Facebook on December 27: “The loss of Beans, my friend Kathy McMahon’s dog, hit me hard this morning. Several great pets departed the world this year, but I didn’t know them personally. I met Beans before I adopted Frankie and thought when — if — I get a dog, I want one like that: affectionate, brave, outgoing… Of course I got only one out of three with Frankie and it didn’t matter a whit but Beans was a dog to aspire to.”
Some of the worst things of this past year remind me of some of the best: My return to dog blogging and the subsequent support I’ve gotten from the pet blogosphere, including
two three examples today:
- Lisa Spector of Through a Dog’s Ear, wrote a wonderful post on the Care 2 site, Grey Muzzle: Helping Homeless Senior Dogs, that highlights Frankie’s Fund.
- Mel Freer of No Dog About It included on of my posts among her Top 13 Dog Blog Posts of 2013 — and it was a message I was glad I could convey, about not being judgmental in the name of being a pet lover.
So I leave you with thanks for being there for me, and with best wishes for a great 2014.
And with one last plea — yes, there’s still time for a tax deduction — to donate to Frankie’s Fund. Because every dog deserves a great sendoff.
Update: This just in as I was about to push “Publish,” I got the notification that CeliaSue Hecht wrote a sad and moving post about the last days of a senior pet (which happened to be a cat) — Senior Dogs Need A Good Sendoff — that also promotes Frankie’s Fund.