I miss my dog.
This may not seem like an appropriate topic for a weight loss blog, but I assure you that there is a small connection, and – quite frankly – I really just need to get this off my chest.
I had my fabulous canine companion for nearly fifteen years, having received him as a birthday gift when I was a teenager. I moved out and he stayed at my childhood home, but whenever I visited it was obvious that he was my dog. There was a bond between us that only pet owners ever really understand. He rubbed his eyes on my legs to show his affection, and he sneezed when he was happy.
He got old. He was over 100 in ‘dog years’ at the end. He finally stopped eating and we had to put him down. He fell asleep for the last time with his chin resting in my lap and my fingers brushing through the thick, black fur on the top of his head.
I think about him a lot. I thought about him today because I had to go into the local veterinary’s office to ask a question about my cat – another animal with whom I have a deep bond. They brought up my dog and I had to tell them that he has been gone for a few years now. I managed to hold it together.
Then, when I settled in to do a little blog reading earlier tonight, I came across a post at Escape From Obesity that talks about viewing ourselves with the same unconditional love that our pets give to us. It was a touching essay that had me in tears long before its conclusion and, again, my thoughts wandered to my late furry companion.
A little later my husband and I left to go and do the C25K. We pulled into the parking lot at the local track, but were a little thrown off by the fact that there was a group of teenagers gathered. We decided to look at a nearby high school to see if there was an alternative pathway to run around without the audience. As we drove up the main street, away from the park, we slowed to pass by a police car stopped on the side of the road with its lights on.
In front of the vehicle, being protected from oncoming traffic by the gentler arm of the law, was a black dog laying dead in the street.
Almost instantly the tears started running down my face again. I was devastated for the owner of the beautiful canine, heartbroken that an animal had suffered such a fate, and sad for myself that my own wonderful pooch is not still around. It took me a good five minutes to compose myself and then I broke down again when my husband and I were pulled over talking about it. We decided to honour the fallen dog in the only way we could at that moment and we circled back, with a handful of daffodils hastily picked from the side of the road, and laid them next to the head of the noble beast.
So when I wanted to turn around and go home without doing the C25K – because, believe me, the temptation to just throw in the towel for the day was huge – I decided to dedicate my run tonight to my dog and to the one who lost its life this evening. When I jogged through the darkness – and, yes, it took everything inside of me to still go through with that initial plan – I imagined both of those canines running beside me. And when I was fatigued – which was often and considerable given the emotional upheaval I had just put myself through – I thought about how those animals will never be able to feel the earth beneath their own feet again.
Sometimes when we don’t feel like we have the strength to do what needs to be done, we must shift perspective. It is usually enough for me to do something because I can, but – when that construct is not adequate to sustain the spirit I require to continue – I will complete what I must, instead, because there are others who can not.
FOOD & BEVERAGES:
- 9 glasses of water
- 1 pear
- 3 cups mixed salad with lettuce, shrimp, black olives, red and orange peppers, tomato, mushroom, onion, broccoli, green onion, and fat free Italian dressing
- 2 1/2 cups steamed asparagus with margarine
- 1 nectarine
- 3 cups spinach salad with cubed cheese, croutons, dried cranberries, apple, and calorie-wise Greek feta and oregano dressing
- 3/4 cup fat free peach yogurt with 1/2 cup granola cereal
- 30 minute walk
- 30 minutes of the C25K program (Day 3 of Week 4)