It is that time of year again where we all find ourselves making resolutions. Things we want to accomplish, changes we intend to make, stuff we are going to do differently this year. Although I too have set some goals for myself, I can’t help but think about how different this year will be for me. This time last year I had no idea that by year end I would no longer have two of my fur kids to ring in the new year with me.
Many of you know that I said goodbye to my border collie, Snow, in November of 2012. On January 14 of this year she would have been 14 years old and although she was already 6 years old when she came to me, I feel that we spent her lifetime together. She would probably agree.
What most of you do not know is that in May, just two days before I found out that Snow was terminally ill, I had to say goodbye to my childhood pony, Pinky. She was 39 years old and I honestly do not remember any of my life without her. My parents bought her as my first competition pony when I was 7 and as far back as I can remember she was there for me in every break-up, graduation, success, and failure of my life. She was such an important part of my development that I attribute most of what I know about communicating with animals to her. She was the first to teach me how to listen to an animal, and thankfully, she taught that lesson well because I use that valuable education every day in my profession.
I know what you are probably thinking as you read this….39? How long does a horse live? Short answer...not that long. And certainly not with cognitive skills still sharp enough to communicate with me right up to the point of goodbye. But Pinky did just that! Naturally we knew she was living on borrowed time but it still was a shock to all of us that day, even to my veterinarian.
While I sit here and finish thinking about what I want to accomplish this year, I cannot help but think of the two who will not be here to share it with me. But I know that both of them would say to me, “No matter how busy you get this year and no matter how hard you work, take time to enjoy a sunrise, a sunset, or time to smell the roses, but most importantly, take time to enjoy what you have at the moment.” They would tell me that because that is what I tried to do with each of them.
I always try to live life fully and I feel very fortunate to have a career that helps me live just that way-----spending my time with and listening to the many lovely furry ambassadors I work with daily. So whether it be in the sun, rain, sleet or snow, it will be an honor for me to have all of them in my life in 2013.