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Hello there!  I am jumping back out of the bigger story again to talk about something that just happened to my family.  A week ago we had to put one of our dear dog friends to sleep.  I don’t really know where to start this post.  The pain and loss that we have felt are overwhelming and the love and support that has surfaced have been incredible.  

Tikka was a family member with full rights and privileges.  She came into our lives as a skinny, outcast that was rescued from the streets of Phoenix.  In a matter of days, she squirmed her way not only into our home but deep into our hearts.  It was still very early in our marriage and we had no children yet.  Tikka and Rita were our family.  One horrible night we lost Rita in an accident with a car and Tikka was devastated just like we were.  The bond was cemented!  We had shared a soul-shaking loss together and like all good dogs, Tikka was there with love and support that only a 4 legged family member can give.  

As time marched on Tikka was there for all of the ups and downs.  She was one of the first to know about both of our boys coming into this world.  She witnessed my infidelity, my horrible financial mistakes, our fights, our separation from God and the trouble it brought.  She was there in our joy and happiness.  She joined us for so many wonderful adventures in the woods.  She accepted the new puppy Hazel with only a few admonishing growls and nips.  She moved with us from Gunnison to Montrose.  She saw the very beginning of Highland Cycles and comforted me through all of my injuries.  She never once bit a kid who might have been sitting on her and pulling on her ears and lips.  She loved all of the neighbors and friends and even put up with our cat.  She played with wild abandon and would cuddle us all night long.  She was a good dog which puts her high above the best human.

That is why when the time came for Tikka to leave this broken world behind, it was traumatic for my family.  My boys were raised by her.  They had literally known her their entire lives and my wife and I loved her with the same love that we have for our boys.  The pain and sorrow that came over us as she fell asleep for the last time were earth-shattering.  Every one of us was sobbing uncontrollably and as my youngest cried out “Why God? Why” I questioned our creator too.  Why do we have to suffer so much pain?  There are so many wonderful answers to the question but here is my take. 

The pain we feel when our dog passes away is a very painful but very real reminder that nothing IN this world lasts forever.  Our bodies do not, money does not, all of the things we buy do not.  But love, LOVE does last for eternity.  Love comes from God and it is the only thing that does not fade.  God’s love for us is the only constant in this world and dogs are the single greatest example of that love.  They love us no matter what.  They do not care how much or how little money we make.  No matter how beautiful or ugly we are, no matter how many or how severe our mistakes, our dogs LOVE us.  A dog’s love is truly unconditional and unwavering.  I can’t say the same for humans, we don’t have that capacity.  But fortunately, God gave us dogs as a glimpse of what His love for us looks like.  

We are saddened by our loss and it will take time to heal but we are also so blessed to have shared a love that passes all understanding.  As a much wiser man than myself once said, "It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all."

I hope that if you read this that you take some time out of your day to spread some love in this world.  Today and in the future let's try to be a little more like the dogs we have had in our lives!  LOVE to all of you and if you have felt this pain then I feel for you.  If you haven’t then I hope that you get to experience it because to suffer this pain means that you were able to experience the most amazing and powerful love!

If you know someone who needs to read this, please share it.  This is my way of spreading love in this world and I want to share it with as many people as possible.  Thank you so much for reading along with me and as I write this the sun is coming up on July 4th, 2018 so HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!! 

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A Seemingly "Good" Decision

A Seemingly "Good" Decision

The beginning of another slide

The beginning of another slide