Okay, maybe this isn’t that philosophical. But I think it is important to talk about. Animals and pets aren’t for everybody. I get that. I would never force the issue. However, because all our team members here at The Transmogrifier own and adore dogs, I’m writing about it! Our dogs are part of who we are. Our dogs make us more human. This entry may end up more as a story than a philosophical presentation. It’s not short. Maybe, maybe you’ll be able to relate. Or maybe you’ll look at animals a little differently, see them for their healing capacity.
I’ll use our dog, Hudson, as an example. We got this chocolate Lab as a 4-week old puppy right after Christmas one year. My husband and I were feeling particularly gloomy after a long battle with our mortgage company and facing the inevitable scenario of “losing” our home. We had also just lost our 11-year old black Lab to a twisted stomach a few months before Christmas, so it was time to get some puppy love again! Hudson came to us maybe too young, but we accepted the challenge and the extra cuddles needed. Our attachment was instantaneous and the bond between Hudson and myself was strong; he was my dog.
By the end of the year, we had in fact been forced to short sell our home and move north to a great location on 10 acres. Our new home was beautiful, and we finally lived alone for the first time in our 10-year marriage. We had always had roommates or renters. We should have been ecstatic with the positive changes, room to breathe, and our 2 puppies, Hudson and Ellie. Yet, we were the unhappiest we had ever been. We had been struggling with infertility for over 7 years, felt our identity and worth as homeowners had been stripped, were further from friends and family, felt like failures, isolated and lonely. The transition was almost too much. My husband sank into a depression and I lived each day with fear and anxiety. This was a husband I had never known. We were drowning, but in separate parts of the ocean, unable to help or hear each other. We began to lose hope, and quit treading water.
Besides faith, our Hudson was the only thing that got us through. When I couldn’t move to get out of bed in the morning, Hudson was there nudging and patiently encouraging. When I came home and couldn’t find Chad anywhere, the panic rising, Hudson led me right to him. When we had no laughter, Hudson did something crazy and funny that reminded us of a lighter time. We may not have laughed, but it broke the grip of sadness for a moment. Hudson cared for us when we should have been caring for him. Hudson cared for us when we couldn’t care for each other.
Just as we felt healed, on a rainy day around Christmas, two short years after he came to us, Hudson left us. He was struck and killed by a car that didn’t even stop. The waves threatened to pull us under once again, the dark sadness knocking on the door. It was a miracle that Ellie didn’t follow him as those two were inseparable. I can still feel that desperation and emptiness today. Yet, even in death, Hudson healed us.
Almost nightly after he died, I dreamed of him. In the dream Hudson told Ellie to stay with us, that he had to go; his work was done. He told her new and amazing things were coming to us, and he didn’t need to take care of us anymore. Joy was coming. Then he turns and is gone.
It was just over 9 months later, that we welcomed baby Nathaniel into our lives and hearts, another miracle.
Hudson was our angel; of that we are convinced. He came into our lives when we needed him the most, taught us about unconditional love, and left us with memories that continue to heal us.