The Rainbow Bridge

Foxy 2011I haven’t blogged for a while. Truth is, I’ve been quite busy with completing my third novel, editing another book whose author is very special to me, and standing up my consulting business (security, not writing). All this points to life moving on, which it does, all around us. Sometimes that movement is not as pleasant as we’d like.

My wife and I have four adopted dogs, all rescues. One had to learn to hoard food to avoid starvation, and still does to this day, though she has not known a day of hunger for a decade and never will. Another was a tool for breeding, banished for what to her surely seemed like an eternity to a dirty, chicken-wire floored cage, milked for her offspring – she never will live another day without a warm, plush bed. A third kept finding forever homes that were not forever and has separation anxiety, though she never has to worry about lack of attention or abandonment anymore.

Then their is our “red puppy,” adopted nearly seven years ago, found on the side of a road, malnourished, with worms, navigating on a lame foot, and a huge scar on her side that many thought came from acid. Clearly she had been abused. If not for the kind rescuer and the fostering, she would not have survived. When we met her, we instantly fell in love with her because, despite the imperfections, she radiated love in her eyes, if sometimes not her actions. She could be aggressive – who wouldn’t, given her past?

We have loved on this mixed breed with the funny limp for nearly seven years. Early on, no toy was safe, with guaranteed destruction and artifacts manifested as colored poop in the backyard. Her lame leg became an inspiration for the name of one of my home brewed IPAs if only because doing so was so outlandish. She weaved her way though our house, onto our couch, and into our hearts.

Today she is old, quite old. We don’t know her age, but by human years, she is likely about 110. She suffers from Cushing’s Disease, though various treatments have helped. Her quality of life has been strong, but is beginning to fade. We know that the inevitable trip across the Rainbow Bridge is not too far away. I could not finish typing this without tears, because I’m selfish. I know she has to go, likely soon. That sucks.

When we write, inevitably we always draw from elements in our own lives. We transpose emotions onto characters. We make them feel because we feel – they love because we love. We can write about love, and apply it across many instances, because of our experiences – all experiences. Every relationship, human or not, in some way, influences every imaginary interaction we create.

This “red puppy” sleeps soundly at my feet at the moment, after an uncertain day when we thought at today’s sunrise she may not see another sunset but by afternoon she had regained all of her life spirit to continue on. She is still loving life. One day, likely soon, she will silently leave us, or let us know it’s time to let her go. On that day I will gain more experience about loss, but I am so not looking forward to that, despite that it will deepen the well of my experiences from which I draw from when I write.