The best and worst moments of my life came about with swiftness and surprise. I never anticipated the kind of loss I've suffered when my younger sister passed away, or last summer when a long-time family dog left this earth. The pain is almost debilitating, and I've found the only way through is to remember the beautiful moments.
Two days ago I had to say goodbye to my beloved Nara. A short while ago she was diagnosed with bone cancer in one of her wrists. It's had me distracted and I haven't been writing, spending as much time as I could with her.
The doctors were optimistic because it had been caught early, and with chemo treatments, she could go on to live another one or two happy years. Unfortunately, Nara was one of the rare exceptions when it comes to low does of chemo in dogs, and her body didn't react well. The truth hit us all—she was not going to make it without a considerable amount of suffering.
The first image that flitted through my mind was of Nara on the first day I saw her. I was shopping in the neighboring town, and as we drove out of the shopping center parking lot, I saw a sign that said Saint Bernard puppies were for sale. I'd always wanted one, so we hurried and pulled over. As soon as I got out of the car, Nara came running toward me, a little round ball of fur, and I knew we had been meant to find each other.
For 7 1/2 years, she's been my best friend, sitting at my feet while I write, exploring the country with me, going for long walks, wrestling, and cuddling. Our years together were filled with so many happy memories, enough to sustain me for a lifetime, but for today and forever, the place she held in my heart will remain hers.
Below is a little slideshow of Nara through the years.