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Thanks Muttville! Caring for old dogs helps on the anniversary of my dog's passing

Have you ever had that one dog? You know, a special dog who connected with you in a way none before them had? Thanks to the world of dog people that I occupy, I know that I am not alone in having this special experience.
 
My special dog got me to start a blog, and jump into social media as a dog advocate ten years ago. She showed me all the ways a dog could enrich your life, and that there is value of living in the present. Caring for and about my dog into and through her senior years, taught me patience and empathy for my aging parents.
 
With her passing, memories of our days together motivated me to get out of the house and down to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue this year. Each morning I'm there I get a dose of mutt magic, in exchange for doing their laundry, mopping and walks around Rescue Row. 
 
image from www.grouchypuppy.com
"Daisy and Sharon have an understanding"
 
For now, I'm content to care for them and help play matchmaker, but when I look in their eyes, I know that one of these days I will be ready to open my home to another dog. For now, I'm grateful to have this wonderful place in my town that lets me in the door every week, especially as I mark today, the two year anniversary of my dog's passing.
 
Dear Cleo,
 
It's September 17, two years since we sent you on ahead, and I still miss you every single day.
 
When I look back on the day we brought you home from the SF/SPCA, I still wonder how we did it. How did we find the perfect missing piece to our family? Being a first-time adopter, all I cared (and worried) about was making you feel confident that we would always be there for you. I wanted you to have all the adventures, good food, soft beds, and healthy sense of belonging that any dog could ask for. 
 
I want you to know that today, thanks to you, I appreciate old dogs so very much. Because of our time together, I truly see all the wonderful in the oldsters I visit with every week at Muttville. I love the morning shift! You have the dozing faces who just want to sleep in, and the others bouncing to get out the door for a spin down Rescue Row. I congratulate them, like I did with you, when they "poop like a champ" first thing when we get outside, and yes, I insist on cleaning their goopy morning eyes.
 
All those personalities take me back to our mornings together, and that makes me smile, and remember you. I'm asked why I don't bring home one of these dogs. I'm not there yet, but caring for them does feel like it is slowly healing my heart.
 
I expect one day you'll send me a sign that it's time, just like you did two years ago.
 
Thank you for giving so fearlessly and for the positive influence you continue to have over me and my life Cleo.
 
I love you sweet girl.
 
image from www.grouchypuppy.com

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