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Resetting your course: How a dog's memory is helping me navigate

Pet loss isn't unique. How we manage it is. Losing my beloved dog hit me hard. It has thrown my writing life for a curve. She was my primary inspiration for topics, and motivation for striking up conversations. More than three months have passed and it's been a challenge without my canine compass.

There is a feeling of lethargy that is foreign to me. Moving through the day sometimes feels awkward, like wearing an ill-fitting sweater or jacket with too tight sleeves that ride up your wrists. Our dog had my full attention for years and guided much of my writing for the past five.

image from www.grouchypuppy.com

How do you reset your course when it feels like the captain is missing?

All hands on deck! These are a few ways my dog's memory is navigating my life: 

Continuing to share across social media the many adoptable senior dogs helps, a lot. Our elderly dog never lost her happiness to be around the people she loved. Getting others to see the value in having an older dog in the life is a passion that my Cleo ignited. Keeping that flame going brings her close.

Connecting with fellow dog lovers every day on Facebook for the daily question and more is inspiring. It is heartwarming to read about how other people are influenced by dogs in positive ways.

Lifting my head up and heading out for walks helps. Maybe it's the endorphins from exercising but passing by dogs out and about in the city is wonderful. Sometimes their people will let me chat with the dog, and sometimes it will just be a close *enough* encounter for a little oxytocin to drift my way. I'll take it. The best of course, is when a dog eagerly seeks me out for some true affection and their person laughingly allows us to have a moment. Heaven.

All of these ways are helping remind me of why Cleo had such an impact on me, but also why there will always be a reason for me to advocate for senior dogs, elevate conversations about dog adoption, and celebrate the dogs we love.

I have a feeling that before we know it, an older dog is going to cross my path and request permission to come aboard. 


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