One week ago, we said goodbye to our sweet dog Roman. His passing has brought many things to the surface for me and for this I am grateful.
An incredible coach and friend of mine Lisa Larter (as well as a passionate dog owner) sent me many heartfelt messages checking in on me and suggested I write Roman a letter to help with the grieving process.
Writing is healing for me.
And so I write this letter to my sweet old boy Roman who left us just 6 days ago. And I wanted to share it with you. Because, community is important to me. And if my journey can help someone else than I am honoured and grateful to share.
I remember the first time I saw you. We were at Luke’s house and you were stampeding towards the front door. I was frightened because you were so big and I had a history of being chased and bitten by dogs as a child. I admit I felt intimated by your size and wasn’t sure what to think about your snorting when you would greet me.
We were to become family members as part of our new blended family. You were the only ” child ” on the other side of the equation and soon to inherit two new siblings, Yasmeen and Jasper.
The children welcomed you with open arms, especially Jasper, who at just 2.5 years old fell head over heels in love with you. I was hesitant about letting you into my heart and kept a safe distance. At the time, I wasn’t aware that this fear came from my unhealed past of losing pets and people and not knowing what to make of it all. And so, you and I had an unspoken understanding.
You understood that I wasn’t going to be the first one to pet you or cuddle with you. And you knew that it was ok. I was, however, your biggest advocate. If you needed something, or I thought you might be uncomfortable, I was the first one to make sure you had what you needed and then some.
I always felt torn as a pet owner. I felt that you deserved to run the fields and be free, yet I knew that you loved people and the comfort that being in a home gave you.
Learning to walk you was a challenge. You liked to pull, and that you did! I think I was the one being walked most of the time. But then, I heard about the Pit where other dog owners take their dogs to play and run around and socialize and I knew this would be a great place for us to enjoy the outdoors together.
And so we went to the pit. Often. And I enjoyed seeing you in your happy place. And it was bliss.
Over the years, we spent a lot of time together. I felt an easy, comfortable energy between us. And it was good.
My fondest memory of my time with you is sitting outside on the front porch in the summertime. I would often go out there in between my clients and you would show up at the front door and nudge it open with you nose to come out and join me. We would both sit and enjoy the sun, the heat, and the silent company.
My heart was opening. And you were becoming my pet too.
When I was pregnant, you began barking at the mailman and at people who came near the house, which was highly unusual for you. I felt that you were being protective and it comforted me.
And then little baby Forest came along. A new squirming, crying, tiny human that you weren’t so sure about. But after a few days, you realized that he was a permanent fixture in our life and you accepted him into the pack. You continued to bark at people who came to the house. But not an annoying bark that goes on and on. It was a BIG, loud bark that only needed to be made once.
And I think somewhere along the way, I fell in love without even realizing it.
It was not love at first sight. But it was love that lasts forever.
Slow cooked love. <3
And now that you are gone, all of the little things that used to annoy me don’t matter.
In fact, I cherish them.
The truth that I know in my heart is that you loved me and all of us unconditionally. Without reservation.
It was impossible for you to do otherwise.
And that unconditional love was in every moment of our lives together. The perceived good and bad. The ups and downs. It was the underlaying fabric of our lives and our family.
Thank you for being my pet. Our life paths crossed and put us together. And my life is so much more incredible because you were a part of it.
Your passing helped so much from my past resurface to be healed. I wept and let it all go. And it was so necessary. For this I am deeply grateful.
And now, when I think of you, I imagine you are running in the fields to your heart’s content with that goofy look on your face and your ears flapping in the wind.
Goodbye Sweet Old Boy. You will forever be in my heart.