Friday, March 19, 2010

Walk the dog, Find a Cure

Today marks my youngest daughter's 11th birthday. I remember her birth so vividly. Sophie is a remarkably poised, competent and amazing being [as are her older sisters, ages 13 and 17]. A very old and nurturing soul is she.

Bringing children into the world is a daunting prospect. But you hope to raise them to go out in the world.

Bringing a dog into your home can also be a daunting project. But you hope to raise them to live a long and happy life with you and not go out into the world.

Dogs don't usually live as long as people. But we give them our hearts and our souls. We whisper our secrets into their silken ears and take comfort in their ability to enjoy life's simple pleasures. A good scratch. A long walk. A cozy cuddle. A welcome greeting. Yes of course we curse their sometimes unruly ways. But we love them. Yet they usually leave us before we want them to go. That is the usual order of things and an agreement we enter into knowingly.

I lost Lily to cancer just over two months ago. But she was 10 and had lived a good and long life.  She lives on in my memory and I am fortunate to have many of those.

Olivia Crowley was 10 years old when she died. She was stricken with cancer at the tender age of 7. For 3 years she battled her illness with an indefatigable spirit. Bright, optimistic, funny and a fellow dog lover, I had the great good fortune to meet Olivia when she was partnered in service with Charlie, a golden retriever. A pooch who buoyed her spirit when it was flagging, who listened to her secrets, played secret games and gave unconditional positive feedback. Olivia touched me deeply. Not because she was sick, but she was yet another wise old soul way who just made the world she was in a better place.

Please join me on the Curesearch walk -- with or without your well behaved dog -- on May 8 at University Circle. Or donate -- whatever you can afford -- to A Better Pet Pets team.  Follow on Facebook, tell your friends and family, and together let's make a difference.

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