I know it sounds silly to some to celebrate a dogs birthday. But around here…we embrace silly.
Three years ago today Nigel was born somewhere in Missouri. I wasn’t looking for a puppy at all. A puppy was the furthest thing from my mind.
For six months prior I had been nursing my Old English Sheepdog Dougal back to health. He was 10 1/2 years old and had broke his back. I had had him since he was six weeks old and he was born blind. He was the light of my life and my constant companion. On August 13th Dougal crossed over the rainbow bridge.
To say I was devastated was an understatement. My heart broke into a million pieces and for some reason losing this silly dog really took me out at the knees. I cried. Everyday. For months. Now I am not a big crier. I hardly ever cry. In fact I sometimes go years without shedding a tear.
But when I lost Dougal I cried so much that two months later I ended up in urgent care with such a severe sinus infection that I could not breathe through my nose or my mouth. Big problem. The Doctor said “you really need to stop crying…why don’t you get another dog..”.
Dumb idea. How could I? It was too soon. I couldn’t do that. That was crazy. But then along came Nigel. And when I first saw his face…somehow it felt right. And he was born the same day Dougal died. I felt that was a sign. We were meant to be.
Nigel has healed me in places where I was broken. I love him to pieces and every year on this day…It is hard. I am so profoundly grateful for Nigel…and I am so profoundly sad at the loss of Dougal. And such is life…We love and we lose and we learn to love again…
Dougal N. Kraty 12/24/99-08/13/10
This was my dog Dougal. I loved him like nobody’s business.
He was blind but he saw with his heart. He ate rocks as a baby, so his teeth were chipped. But he still had the most beautiful smile and the courage of a lion.
His favorite two things in the world were going to the park and his Grandma Sheila. He loved tummy rubs, car rides and Pugsley’s. He made me smile every single day for 10 1/2 years. That’s a lot of love when you think about it all added up. Love times infinity.
He’s gone now…and I can still hear the sound of him not being here.
I will always miss you Doodle-bug.
…i spend the better part of my life at the dog park, or so it seems…Rain or shine.
In Huntington Beach we are famous for accommodating dogs into pretty much everything we do. There is a dog beach, the bark park and even a dog restaurant called the Park Bench where dogs can order off the menu. (Nigel recommends the Frosty Paws Pupsicles)
What have I learned from all this? One thing.
Dog people rock!
~nigel & heather