On December 13, 2014, we had to let our doggie friend of 15 years go. It was unbelievably hard. I always knew that it would be hard, but you just can’t know until you’ve gone through it. The word ‘hard’ does nothing towards describing the experience. I am beside myself with sadness and disbelief.

I wanted to write a tribute to her- to honor her memory and thank her for sharing her life with us. It’s also a way of refocusing on the happy times instead of just sinking into a depression.

So here are TEN THINGS I LEARNED FROM MY DOG

1- It never hurts to ask (if you ask nicely). Non faltering eye contact and a slight tilt of the head can boost your odds.IMG_4699

2- Being all bark and no bite is a good motto, especially if you want to keep your karma in top shape, but also scare away the haters.

3- Be kind to everyone you come across. Even if they aren’t kind in return, make the extra effort to try to understand where they could be coming from. (like, maybe they’re a noisy and annoying 2 year old who doesn’t know any better). You never know what’s going on in the lives of others. In any case, don’t bite them.

4- Expect the best from everyone. If a pit bull comes running at you, just smile and hold your ground. Because- what else are you going to do? Even if they sink their teeth into your neck, just remember that it’s not personal. And as soon as they let go, forgive them, forget about it, and go on with your day.

5- Smile at everyone. A smile can make all the difference in someone else’s day!

6- Take lots of naps. Don’t get stressed about your ‘to do’ list. Just take a nap if you’re tired. You can pick up where you left off with more energy when you wake up.

7- Swimming is great exercise! It can keep your joints and heart healthy long after they would have otherwise withered away. And it can really cool you off if you’re panting a lot. And it’s fun!

8- It’s a given that you’re always invited to the party. Just show up and plop yourself right on down in the center of everything.

9- Every day is a gift and is meant to be enjoyed. Play and bounce around if you feel like it, sleep if that’s the mood you’re in, eat food off the sidewalk if that’s what you want to do- just go with the flow and live in the moment!

10- Vibrate love at every opportunity. All the time.

Goodbye Claire! You are missed!