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Millie has taught me not to take our time for granted.


On this #MemorialMonday, I want to thank Devonee for sharing this beautiful tribute about her Millie for the #PetStoryProject. While her time was unfortunately cut short, it is clear she was cherished and loved every day and she returned that love along with a profound lesson about the ephemeral nature of life.

“My husband had made the comment that Millie probably thought the Pandemic was the best thing to ever happen. With all four of us home from work and school, all day, every day, she reveled in the attention, the walks and the backyard gardening. She always had someone to be near whether it was hanging out with us in the bonus room during Netflix binges or under the dining table for distance learning. And we had her. A chin on your knee, with sweet eyes looking up for a pet. A nose nudging your elbow, that sometimes spilled your coffee. A head poking up from my bed to see if it was a kid coming up the stairs, knowing they wouldn’t make her get down. She would stand ready with ears cocked ready to be chased around the coffee table or run to the front door and spin circles whenever the word “walk” was uttered. And she would protect our house with her loud, deep bark from the singular leaf blowing across the front yard and defend her backyard from the bunnies and squirrels. Just like she had been for eight years.

And then, all of a sudden, she was gone. And there was a hole in our family. I was watering a plant when the sun glanced off the window of the French door causing a shadow and my first thought was, “Oh, Millie wants to come out.” followed by the remembering that she wasn’t with us anymore and, in reality, she would have beat me out the door in the first place. We all had moments like that. Grief is hard. It doesn’t follow a neat straight line and can catch you unaware. And watching your children grieve is heartbreaking.

Her death was a reality check for me. I had assumed she would be with us for years yet. I thought she would make it through the surgery, already moving on to how we would address a likely cancer diagnosis. We were six weeks into Covid lockdown so you’d think I would have realized that we truly have way less control over things than we think. So, now I’m trying to pay more attention to today. It’s not easy for a dedicated planner but Millie has taught me to not take our time for granted.

Losing them is the hardest part of having a pet. Yet, for as painful and sad as it is, having them as a member of the family is worth it. Millie was such a sweet soul, a loving and comforting presence to all of us. Simply put, we miss her and will love her always.”

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