Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Other Shoe

Years ago, I heard someone say that deaths always happen in threes. Over the years this has proven to be true more times than not. Three weeks ago, I found out someone I used to know committed suicide. Once week later I had to put down my dog. This week, my grandmother passed away. I sincerely hope this is the end of the tragedy for a while.

I seem to get inspired to take control of my life every time I lose someone important to me. Or, at the minimum, I am inspired to start a new chapter or move in a different direction. Death is not something to be celebrated but it usually marks the end of one chapter (illness, pain, suffering) and the beginning of another.

My father died 12 years ago. He had been suffering for several years. While his death was difficult for my family, it marked then end of a very rough period in our lives. One week later we adopted a 3 year old dog from the ASPCA. My family hadn't had a dog since I was a kid. Whenever my brother and I asked, my mom would always say no. I imagine the burden of being a caregiver for your spouse on top of having 2 kids and a dog would have been too much for her. But she supported the decision to get a dog and seemed as excited about it as we were.
Focusing all of our attention on the new dog didn't take away the pain of losing my father but it kept us from wallowing in it. We had this little life that depended on us and that life helped us move forward with all of our lives.

On the day we put Ezra down I found out that 2 people that I care about are expecting new babies later this year. While his death didn't directly spark life, it was nice to associate that day with something other than sorrow. It was a little reminder that life will go on without him. No matter how much a part of our lives he was.

I lived with my grandmother when I was a kid. Both of my parents were still in school when I was born. My grandmother helped raise me so they could get their degrees. She had this great German Shepherd named Rex. He had floppy ears, which just added to his cuteness. He was a great dog and the reason that I have gravitated towards German Shepherds my whole life. So when our local rescue group contacted me to ask if I was interested in a young German Shepherd that they just rescued whose name was Rex and who had floppy ears I couldn't help but think that fate was at play again. I told them that I needed a couple more weeks and that if he was still there at that time we would love to meet him and see if he works for our family.

The more I think about it, the more it seems like a new dog, whether it ends up being Rex or not, will mark a new chapter in our lives. After the loss of Ezra and my grandmother, a new dog to be a companion to our other German Shepherd will definitely be a happy event. Maybe this summer can be remembered for the 2 dogs we rescued (one in May and a new dog likely at the end of this month) and all the adventures that we will have with them rather than all the loss that we experienced.


  1. God bless you for rescuing the dogs. Condolences on the passing of your grandmother. I always thought it was just bad things that happened in 3's?
    Wonderful post, I can't say as my own dog preferences are geared by my early dogs, my aunt had a poodle and I've always had a soft spot for them, we had an English Shepherd when I was a child, a farm dog for lack of a better explanation, sort of like a small newfoundland which I love now.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother.
    Celebrate her life and always treasure the memories.

    And it's terrible that you had to put your dog down. It's a heartbreaking decision to make.

    I hope you find great new dogs.

  3. Thanks guys. We plan to meet dogs next week so hopefully our little family will be growing soon.