Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Absence and Loss

Hello Readers!

I haven't been on here for a while. Some of you may already know why, but for those of you who may have wondered what the cause of my absence has been, now you will know.

Sophie: 2011-2012
A few weeks ago, my sweet and energetic dog, Sophie (a 1 year old Alaskan Malamute) crossed her Invisible Fence line and ran into the path of a moving vehicle and was killed. The entire incident occurred in my front yard. I heard my poor puppy screaming, heard my mom run out and scream, and soon after I ran down the stairs to a sight I wish to forget but will always remember.

When I ran out, I could see Sophie struggling to stand up, and I reached out to try to stop her from moving (to prevent further injury) and in confusion she bit into my right hand and left arm. I won't go into all of the gory details of the morning- but there was blood everywhere. I didn't know how much of the blood on my arms was from Sophie or from the bites. After a neighbor with a heart of gold responded to the situation and drove my mom, Sophie, and I to the vet's office I had to go to a prompt  care center to have my wounds taken care of. When my brother (who drove me) and I returned home, Sophie was gone.

Sophie loved the snow!
Since that day, my wounds from the bites have been healing with the help of antibiotics, lots of Neosporin, many yards of gauze and bandages. But, my heart seems to be healing at a much slower rate. Even though the driver of the vehicle didn't mean to hit my dog, and even though eyewitnesses of the accident have told me that there was nothing the driver could do when Sophie ran out, it's been really difficult for me to forgive him. It's never been this hard for me to love my neighbor- even though this neighbor is a person who literally resides in a house down the street from my own.

Sophie's tongue always stuck out, just a little bit. 

Grief is a response that can turn into anger- and when it does we can be fooled (or at least I was fooled) into believing that anger is an easier burden to carry than forgiveness. This is a lie. Anger is a far heavier and taxing burden to carry than forgiveness. How did I realize this?

Last week, I started praying for the driver. Praying for wounds to heal (who was also bitten by Sophie while trying to help her) and praying for emotional healing helped me to see this person as a person who was also in pain. Praying for the strength for me to forgive him for this terrible accident, and praying for him to forgive me for yelling at him when I ran outside to the mess of that morning.

She always tried to lick my face! What a sweetheart!

Something else that has helped me move forward from this tangled mess, is a new puppy. After Sophie's death, I was not ready for another dog- but a few members of my family started searching online for Malamute puppies, and they discovered that Sophie's mom had a litter of puppies ready to go to new homes. We met the puppies, and chose one. Less than a week later, my house will the home of another black and white ball of fur and fury who we named Maya Lani. She is still very young, but she has quite a personality! While she will never replace Sophie or any other dog that's ever been a part of my life, she is turning out to be a wonderful blessing to me and to my family.

In the future I look forward to sharing more pictures of Maya, and maybe even a few outfits here and there :)

Thank you to my friends and family (and readers!) for your continued support and love during this difficult time!

We will miss you Sophie!