“A man’s life was five dogs long, Cortland believed. The first was the one that taught you. The second was the one you taught. The third and fourth were the ones you worked. The last was the one that outlived you.” Stephen King, UR

The first was the one that taught you…

Tasha was my first dog. I mean, there were pets around when I was a kid – but those belonged to my parents. I loved them, but Tasha was mine from the time I got her as a rambunctious puppy until…..two days ago.

Tasha taught me about unconditional love. It didn’t matter whether I had a good day or bad. Whether I was fat or skinny. Good looking or ugly. Tasha didn’t care. Every time I looked at her, she would wag her tail. I didn’t have to say or do anything at all.

And she was happy.

All she wanted was my undivided attention. A scratch behind the ear. Her right ear. Looking back, I’m not sure I gave her that often enough. But I’d give anything to feel her cold nose nudging my hand and to pet her just one more time.

Death works on it’s own time. And it’s a cruel fact that a man’s life is five dogs long. Tasha’s goodbye was sudden and unexpected. And because I couldn’t fathom the possibility of her being gone, I took off for work Monday morning thinking I’d see her on Wednesday night.

I never got that chance.

I thought it would take a while for things to get back to normal. But now I’m realizing that there is no back to normal. There’s just a hole that it seems nothing can fill. Maybe there will be a new normal, someday.

I know this is a bit personal, but the message here is simple. Life is short. Those you love can suddenly be gone from your life and you don’t want to be filled with regret. Spend your time wisely. Remember what’s really important.

And it probably isn’t that TPS Report.

See ya at the Rainbow Bridge Tasha.

I miss you.

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