Starting today, every Sunday will include a Favorites List for the week. I have always been a list maker, and it seems that the older I get, the more I like them. I love to check things off, to find ways to praise or encourage, and of course books to read. Is there anything better?
The name alone, The Sunday List, comes from a book I read years ago and loved her idea of “tweaking” her life list every Sunday. My list will be different each week, as opposed to her static list. Not that I don’t have a “bucket list” but for the sake of your sanity and mine, I’ll spare you that weekly post. Think of it like David Letterman’s Top Ten list, but without all the snark.
Well, maybe. I make no promises.
The only promise I will make is this week’s list comes to you from the center of grief, and the only way I get through it is to write about it. I took a running class years ago, and the only thing I remember from that class was her weekly comment, “Embrace the suck, people. Embrace the suck.” And she was right. Sometimes running sucked, and if you didn’t expect that fact and embrace it, then you were done before you started. So, I’m lacing up my literary bootstraps, and putting one foot in front of the other.
This week we had to say goodbye to the best dog ever, Goldie Girl. And when I say best dog ever, I mean BEST DOG EVER. Fourteen years ago, we drove to Ohio to see about a dog. We live in Michigan. Everyone but us knew we weren’t just going to “see” her. We walked into the foster home, and this beautiful golden sat down in front of us and placed her paw in my son’s open hand.
“Thanks for coming! When are we leaving???” She was asking.
The rest is history…
Goldie’s Top Ten List
- Everyone loved Goldie, and she loved everyone. Except for the mailman. To her, he was an intruder that should be barked at until he fled the house at a rapid pace. It made us giggle every time.
- I can’t really talk about Goldie without mentioning one thing that drove us crazy about her. Hair. OMG, the hair. It’s ironic to me that God created the most gentle and beautiful creatures on the planet, and then gave them hair that may or may not stay on their little doggy frames. Usually not.
- After a solid year of provoking our cat, Putter, she finally won her over. I’m not sure I would ever call them friends, but eventually it did become friendly. Putter would even find his own way to play with Goldie. It usually involved thwapping her on the nose as she walked by, but hey, it was progress. And it made a funny little hollow sound I can still hear in my head. It’ s the little things… 🙂
- Before her hips started to give out, she would jump on our bed every night and lay in between us. She would stay up there till we fell asleep, then get down and sleep by the bed. Every. Single. Night. It was her way of helping us fall asleep and was one of my favorite things about her.
- Playtime was Goldie’s favorite thing about her humans. And with two boys, there was never a lack of playtime. Hide and Seek with my oldest was her game of choice. He’d throw a toy upstairs. She’d chase it. And by the time she came back down, he’d be hiding. It was hours of entertainment. Literally. It didn’t matter if he hid in in the bathroom every time. She was still so excited to find him. Paper airplanes were her second game of choice.
- As she grew older, she learned to hate the camera (our phones) as much as George Clooney hates the paparazzi. She would duck, turn, and walk away every time. We still managed to find ways to capture the most photogenic dog on the planet. Her eyes always seemed to be talking to us.
- Begging was not beneath our Goldie Girl. Whether it was breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even snack, she was on us like stink on a monkey. Making popcorn was music to her ears, and smelling bacon would create so much anxiety in her, she would be barking at us by the time we sat down. Her head in our laps, brown eyes looking up through her lashes for effect, she would blink her way to getting whatever was in our hands. We couldn’t say no to that face.
- Goldie was a weather extremist. If it was 95 and humid, she would lay in the open sun on the deck. If it was 5 and snowing, she was laying on the deck. We couldn’t understand why she seemed to be such a glutton for bad weather. But that was how she was happiest. In the extremes…
- Love. To know Goldie was to love Goldie. Our friends and family seem to be as sad as we are. The support we have received has been nothing short of amazing. It’s been a blessing for sure in this dark spot.
- As much as she has taught us to love, she is now teaching us about loss. For my boys, this is the first real death to them that they can feel true, honest grief. They have learned to reach out to friends, and to us as parents. We have all learned that we never go through anything alone. Good, bad, and ugly, we are all together in this world.
Josh Billings once wrote, “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” We have been forever changed by this furry soul that came to us so many years ago.
Thank you, Goldie, for teaching us all how to love more. You will be missed…