I must share a story about Nora and her best friend, Monty. Monty, you see, is a dog, a chocolate lab who has lived a full life. He’s twelve, which I hear is equivalent to age 89 in people years.
For several months, Monty’s health has been on the decline. And because he requires a great deal of care, Nora is drained emotionally, physically and financially—costing her money she doesn’t have.
Her vet has suggested that it’s time to consider putting him down. Others have given her the same advice—including me. But despite the burden and despite the suggestions, Nora has adamantly refused. Her stance has been a mystery to me, so at one point I simply asked her, “Why?”
“He’s never been so happy,” she said. “He’s full of life and doing everything he did when he was a puppy . . . only slower. When I take him for a walk, he smiles and wags his tail at everybody! When we cross a street, he drags me over to a stopped car and stares at the driver as if he’s expecting that person to roll down the window and give him some attention. It’s hilarious! I can tell he’s a day-brightener for a lot of people.”
“And what’s he doing for you, Nora?” I asked.
“I love being greeted with that happy spirit,” she said. “He expects nothing from me. He accepts me the way I am, and I’ve had very little of that throughout my life.”
Ahhh, now it was all beginning to make sense. Monty is providing something for Nora that’s priceless—something that only the heart understands, something the practical mind misses. It’s called love, connection, acceptance and joy.
Let’s face it, as life happens, such gifts make it all worthwhile no matter how burdensome our load.
My heart was touched that day, and my capacity to see grew a notch. I thank Nora for that . . . and I thank Monty, too—a real day-brightener.
Let me know your insights. I like reading them!
Names are changed to honor client confidentiality.
(c) 2014 Salee Reese