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Even their departures have something to teach us.




Thank you to Heather for sharing her beautiful and moving tribute to Phoebe (center picture) and Windsor. “As much as we talk about “rescuing” pets, they have the ability to “rescue” us back. They come into our lives at just the right time, and even their departures have something to teach us. Windsor and Phoebe were a matched set of rescues—one via Border Collie Rescue in AZ and the other rescued off a road in Phoenix. They were a yin and yang, sun and moon pair. Phoebe was an attention hog, a huge personality and my constant companion; from the moment I rolled over in bed and saw her right next to me waiting to give me a big hug before our walk, to going to sleep at night and every minute in-between. Windsor was chill, content to lie next to the bed or under my desk, appreciating time together. For more than a decade, they were one of the brightest parts of my life. They stayed by me when I despaired over my inability to change an unhealthy marriage dynamic, giving me the love and caring I needed. And when Phoebe was diagnosed with a tumor on her spinal cord that had dissolved two vertebrae and had to be put to sleep within days, I was absolutely devastated. But even her passing had a lesson to teach me, as it demonstrated how broken my relationship had become. It gave me the push and strength I needed to put an end to that situation quickly. In the year that followed, Windsor and I were a matched pair, his gentle strength and love providing the companionship I needed, and him offering me a place for my continued affection. When an opportunity came to move overseas for work, I knew it was unfair to try and move an old man, and my parents stepped in to offer him ‘retirement on the plains’. Letting him go was traumatic, but knowing he would be loved and cherished gave me the ability to push forward. In fact, he spent six months with my parents, who were overjoyed at the wonderful dog he was. He reminded them of how much a dog adds to your life, and when he passed in April, they were heartbroken. We cried together on the phone, knowing that he showed us patience and steadfast love. And my parents have taken that lesson and passed it on, having just adopted a rescue lab from the Denver Dumb Friends League. As for me, it’s strange days overseas and I’m not yet in a place where I can commit to my next dog. But there’s a new canine friend out there for me. And until that comes to pass, I think about my Windsor and Phoebe every single day, appreciating all the lessons they taught me and the many ways they rescued me.” #PetStoryProject #MemorialMonday

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