[Post Update: The real inspiration behind this post was a wonderful dog named Tyler, who happened to belong to Rob and Marisol Thomas. Tyler was a beloved family member to Rob and Mari, and this past summer, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. I am sad to report that on November 5, Tyler went to the Rainbow Bridge after bravely fighting this devastating disease. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Rob, Mari, Samy and the rest of their family. There is a special pain in losing a furkid, as their love is so unconditional and the joy they bring us is so great.
Godspeed Tyler, and know that you will always be loved and remembered for your gentle spirit and all of the love you gave to those around you during your time here.
If you are a Rob Thomas fan or have been personally touched by the great work Rob and Mari have done through their Sidewalk Angels Foundation, please consider a donation in Tyler’s memory to Sidewalk Angels, or the other charity that they are actively involved with, Pets Alive, a no-kill animal sancutuary in New York, where Tyler first met his forever family. CLICK HERE to read a great blog post from Pets Alive about how much of an impact one dog can have on the lives of others.
And to all of the other families going through this difficult experience too, my heart goes out to you. May you find comfort and peace in knowing that your life has been blessed by the love of a dog. ~Kerry ]
What are you thinking about right now? When you think of the things that make you truly happy, and the things with lasting importance, what makes the list?
So often in life we get caught up in the past…or the future, or in all of the material things that our culture tells us we need in order to be seen as successful. And when life throws us a curve ball and we are faced with a loved one’s illness like cancer, we can easily get caught up in the disease. Our worries, our fears, our frustrations…they start to take over our life and color all of our thoughts and actions. But, while we are wasting all of our energy worrying or trying to gain some control over an uncertain future, we may be missing on some of the most treasured moments of our life. The moments that last in our memory and that have the power to make us truly happy. We are so much more than our possessions or our jobs. We are each so much more than a disease or a disability. We just need to remind ourselves of that each and every day — even on those dark days when nothing seems to be going right.
Days before our dog Georgia died of lymphoma, she was starting to show signs that the chemo drugs were no longer working and that we might not be able to help her continue her fight for much longer. Georgia slept in our bed each night (we gave up on that battle a couple of years earlier), but she was never one to cuddle up while she was sleeping. She seemed to just like knowing that she was within arms’ reach of us at night. In fact, if you tried to put your arms around her while she was trying to sleep, she’d often get up and move to the far end of the bed, clearly annoyed that we had disturbed her beauty rest. But, this night, one of our last together, she made a point of crawling up into my arms and putting her head on the pillow next to me. I lay there just trying to hold that moment forever. Everything was right in the world as we cuddled and held each other close. I knew that she was giving me a special gift in her final days, and I felt so lucky that I managed to stay awake long enough to really enjoy that time with my little girl.
When I first heard the song “Little Wonders” by Rob Thomas, this was the moment in my life that I thought of. And after Georgia died, I would hear this song and think of her, and be reminded that just like that night, the special moments that you cherish in life are often so small and seemingly insignificant. It reminded me of the lessons I’ve learned from her and our other dog Sampson since they became part of our family. To be in the here and now and to appreciate simple joys in life. Does anyone do that better than our dogs? Quick to forgive, quick to show love, always finding ways to be silly and to play, happy to just be in the presence of their loved ones doing absolutely nothing other than being together. Aren’t these the things that really matter and really make life such an amazing experience?
Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing Rob Thomas in concert, and although I was a longtime fan, I was blown away by his sheer talent! It was a fantastic show from start to finish — one of the best I’ve ever seen. And when it came time for him to play “Little Wonders” I knew that I would think of Georgia and that moment we shared so long ago. But then, I realized that I wasn’t the only one thinking of my dog when that song came on. Surprisingly, Rob introduced it by talking about his dog Tyler, who I know is an important part of his family, and how he was the inspiration behind it. He shared a story that we dog owners have probably all experienced — one of those days when we’re really not in the mood, but our dogs drag us outside for a walk, or convince us to play with them even though we’d rather be caught up in our own thoughts or working, or doing something mindless like sitting in front of the TV. And in their doggy enthusiasm for fun and adventure and just the joy of being with their human, they get us to laugh and relax and remember that life doesn’t always have to be so serious. Anyone who hasn’t lived this experience is really missing out. Who knew that I’d ever have anything in common with Rob Thomas?
So, today, take a moment to think about what really matters to you and what really makes you happy. See the world through your dog’s eyes for a few minutes. Try to find at least one little moment, little wonder, in each day to celebrate and remember. Someday, memories may be all we have, but they are the things that will last forever.
***After this post was written, I found out that in a strange and sad coincicence, Rob’s beloved dog Tyler was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, and is currently battling against this disease. As with all of the brave pups fighting the good fight, Georgia’s Legacy sends its thoughts and prayers to Tyler and his family, and hopes that he defies all expectations and has many happy days ahead with his humans.***