A Joyful Ease

Stellar looks adoringly at his older sister Raven and uncle Mr. Brick. I’m grateful for having had these three amazing catahoulas from Dog World with me for a third of my life. I’m grateful for having known their family for more than thirty years, including Sundog, Feather, Moonshine, Ruckus, Onion, Grits, SamNail, and so on back to Marcus and Rose. Oh, and for their precious pair of people too! I’m grateful that David set out to convert me from a cat person to a dog person all those years ago, and grateful that he only half succeeded. I’m still a cat person, too.
I’m grateful for the miracle of Little Doctor Vincent who showed up crying under a tree three days after Dia the Psycho Calico lay down and died in the sunroom at the age of sixteen. Vincent was unflappable, and turned baby Stellar into a friend pdq.

I’m grateful for the awareness I had to be grateful every day for two happy, healthy dogs for most of their lives. Mr. Brick died of cancer when Stellar was nine months old, at the young age of ten. Over the next decade Stellar and Raven brought so much joy. Their sheer physical magnificence would have been ample, but their inseparable and enthusiastic relationship delighted me constantly.

Their athleticism inspired me and forced me to keep fit enough to keep up with them.
I’m grateful that despite my focus on Stellar, I am still able to turn my attention to important things like a fabulous lunch of a BLT+chicken sandwich, and a homemade pickle; grateful that I’m able to savor the simple pleasures in the midst of this melancholy process.

I’m grateful that Stellar had a pretty easy day, therefore so did I. He never got up from his bed, and the last time he really tried was at two a.m., when he woke me with pitiful crying. I spent an hour getting him settled down, and he slept soundly til well after I and the sun were up. Perhaps he’s accepted his immobility, and he seemed comfortable all day, sleeping a lot but otherwise alert and engaged. He’s still a good watchdog, sounding the alarm when various friends stopped by with treats for me and necessities for him. I’m grateful for the TLC of people looking out for me, and grateful that I can also be helpful to others even during this challenging time. I’m grateful to finally begin to understand what it means to live with a joyful ease.

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