On February 17th (my birthday) I had to say my final goodbye to dear Petunia. I never get used to losing my pets. You would think I would be stronger about it but this simply never gets easier. Sometimes, as is the case with Petunia, it just completely rips me apart for awhile.
Petunia was integral to daily routines here because she needed so much; regular meds, daily laser therapy, daily swim therapy, regular trips to the acupuncture doctor, special meals, etc. Not to mention I was the only creature on the planet that she liked. It always made me feel incredibly honored that such a tiny, vulnerable little dog, who really had no reason to trust any human, decided that it was ok to trust me. I am so lucky.
Petunia only lived at Misfit Manor for 3.5 years. She literally showed up here at our front door looking for a warm bed and a meal. When she worked with one of our psychics Petunia told her that a spirit dog (whom she described as our Sam) had led her here.
Petunia was a hot mess when she arrived. She had very little hair left on her body (her little butt was bare). She was skinny as hell. She was full of cancer and she had a completely screwed up back. Not to mention that she had no idea how to live with a family. She slept for days when she arrived. I woke her up several times a day to feed her and she would just pass back out from the exhaustion of living such a rough life for so long.
In the years that she was here there were several times when we thought we were losing her…she always pulled through. She really was a tough little thing. But this was her final fight and while I should have been prepared… I just was not prepared to lose her.
I have been taking in pets that I know are not going to be with me long for years. It is my passion and I would not trade this life for anything. Every time I lose one of them I become even more confident in my tiny little spot in this world. I can say firmly that I only know a few truths about life and myself with any certainty;
1) Every broken down creature that shows up here I love immediately and completely. I don’t see what is broken about them. I believe with all my heart that they are perfect.
2) I’m not stupid. I know they are going to break my heart and I accept it at level that is not even conscious to me when I meet them.
3) My heart break is absolutely worth it every time. No regrets. Every tear is worth the 3.5 years I had with Petunia.
4) I will keep doing this no matter how many times my heart gets broken. I am convinced that every break eventually just makes my heart swell to become a little bit bigger.
It doesn’t mean its easy. The last two weeks have been hard. I can’t look at a picture or video of Petunia with out starting to cry. I miss her perfect face so so much. But I also feel a tremendous amount of gratitude that she did find her way here. That she had at least some time to live a good life and that we were given the gift of her companionship for over 3 years. I am an incredibly grateful version of sad…if that makes sense.
The universe has a way of delivering what is needed. I believe the energy we put out in the world comes back to us in many forms and we are responsible for it. So I have every confidence that things are just the way they are supposed to be in our lives. The energy Bret and I put out in to the world, for some reason, comes back to us… in tiny, furry little packages. How freakin’ amazing is that?!
One of the things about Misfit Manor that is not lost on us is the energy here at our home…. how fortunate we are that all of our Misfits get a long. Actually its more than just “getting along”…they like and support each other. When a new Misfit arrives or one of them is sick or injured I am always touched by the way the rest of them rally around the newbie. It is really an amazing thing to witness and such a validation of our family life.
The older I get the more narrow my life gets…especially when I lose one of my precious Misfits. I find myself getting more grounded in only those things that deeply matter to me. I suppose that part of that is age too. Time feels so much more finite than it used to.
I am amused at what I really don’t care about anymore…most of the things that a younger version of me used to think were important are just silly now. Around here our idea of a good time on Friday night is to sit in the back yard and watch Snoopy and Maddie wrestle. To watch our little blind and deaf Trudy navigate the yard so perfectly it is like she has a witch eye….seriously…she is so amazing we never get bored of watching her.
We are resting in our grief these last few days. The sting of losing one of our Misfits always seems to elevate how much we love the others and is a reminder that we simply have to live in the moment and enjoy every little bit of happiness they bring to our lives.
I know that someday, in some form, I will see Petunia and all the other Misfits I have lost again. It’s strange…living my life with so many loved ones who have preceded me in death has certainly changed my perspective on my own death. I have so many little angels waiting for me on the other side….it is an incredibly comforting thought.
Blessings to you and yours…hug your babies tight because every moment matters.
Nancy & The Misfits
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