I have had a very reflective dog year. I lost one old girl and welcomed one young boy. In stepping back from it, it is symbolic of the cycle of life. But it feels dishonorable to my old girl to simmer her life down to the Capital letter at the beginning and the period ending her sentence. She was an experience and a slowly molding stream that ended up carving me out a ravine I never knew I had. She enabled me to love this new boy. And the sad part is that she gave me that gift, but in order for her to give it to me, like a little sacrificial savior, she had to die.
She also emboldened my already strong thoughts on death, and honoring life during the dying time. (I have since become a hospice volunteer) Her death made her whole life enlivened. She died in a way that I can only hope for myself, and remained true to herself and her character her whole life. And now, I am so much more aware of this new puppy. I am aware of who I am and who he is and our interactions. I am able to reflect and learn from this divine animal. My old girl gave my new pup a mirror that he holds in front of me every day, and for that I send her a grateful thank you.