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More Than Furry Friends.

About a month ago, I began to write this blog post as I watched the deterioration of our shih tzu who has been a constant companion for eighteen years. As I pen today, with a very heavy heart, she is no longer with us. I guess I was meant to wait until I could properly gather my thoughts on how my life and business has been and will be affected by her loss.

We picked this sweet little pup up when our fourth child was just one. When I look back to that younger version of myself, I can recall thinking, "You're a mad woman with four kids and a husband who travels weekly, what are you doing?" Yet, when we lay eyes on her for the first time, she stole our hearts and we knew she was a perfect fit for an already rambunctious household. 

Training this obstinate little thing was at times frustrating to say the least yet, the hours she spent with the kids opened my eyes to the reality of the role pets can play in a family. Whether running up and down our lane way as the kids raced, hiding under couches as they crawled after her, chasing her favourite “Hiker” puppet up and down our small hallway or just looking out our front window alerting me and the kids of the mailman arriving, this dog had energy. Molly even paced back and forth while I was in labor delivering my last child at home. Like a frantic parent, she awaited the new life that would soon add to the craziness that made our lives so happy.

When I purchased the shop almost a decade ago, I spent copious amounts of time attempting to make it my own.  I would return home, my mind racing with things that had to get done, only to open wide the door to see a wildly happy dog racing towards me disarming me of all my stressors from the day and the thoughts of the night ahead.

I mention all of this because her last moments were spent in a spot that I often featured on my social media posts. I would glance over to find that "Insta-worthy" moment. Years later, here we were, in our kitchen beside her, bidding our final farewells. As I watched those last few breaths, my mind was flooded with the beautiful thoughts of this faithful dog and her fierce love for our family. I knew she didn’t want to leave us, and at one point my son said, “Mom you don’t have to stay,” but alas, I made the promise to her that I’d be with her until the end.

With my daughter returning from Montreal the week prior, my son from Guelph and the night before my son from Toronto, it was as though the time was perfectly planned for her exit, the way it should be for all life. We ended that day with a service for her FaceTiming my kids who could not join us. We read from Scripture and listened to Louis Armstrong's "Wonderful World." I asked God for a small miracle that day, for her to die in the home she adored so much. What a great gift!

So why do I mention all of this in relationship to owning a small business? The reality is, everything affects what you do, including your pets. We downplay it and at times deny it but, we cannot hide from the reality of the sadness one experiences by such a life event.  Our home and my business will feel the effects of this loss for quite some time. What a tremendous legacy that has been left behind.

As I end this post today, our rescue shepherd/lab of fourteen years is also coming to the end of her life. The cancer she has been fighting has ravaged her mouth and hind legs. Barely a week later, I see her sweet eyes and tell her, well done Scout, well done! 

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." - Ecclesiastes 3:1


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