Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life. –Eckhart Tolle

This week one of my little dogs has been demanding my attention. Each morning when I sit at the computer, she has moved in closer and closer. She now rests her head upon my laptop as I type. She wants to be near, she wants to connect, she wants me to know she exists. And, I do. I allow her to rest there, work around her and reach over frequently to pet her head or rub her belly.

I had another Lhasa years ago. She was brilliant, entertaining and loving. I valued her in my life but I was younger, busier and had much to accomplish. She always accepted it with grace and joyfully received my attention when I deigned to give it.

One week I was working in our spare room, turning it into my personal space. I had chosen lemon chiffon, a nice light airy colour. I had been painting for hours with the door closed over, not wanting the smell of it to permeate the house. My Lhasa decided it had been long enough and came in to tell me so, gently nudging open the door and wandering in. I panicked as her tentative tail thwacked against the fresh paint, and I yelled at her. Her tail went down and she dutifully left the room.

The next day, we realized she was not well. She was only twelve, not old for a small dog, and it was unusual for her not to eat. The vet did not think that he could do anything for her but, at our insistence, took her into surgery. I was standing in that freshly painted room when the call came. She was riddled with cancer and he could not, in good conscience, let her live a few more painful weeks. He did not bring her out of the anesthesia.

I stood in that room and cried, looking around and seeing only ugly yellow. All she wanted was to connect with me, and I had yelled at her. I crushed her spirit, a spirit infused with love. I did it for a room. A stinking room. I hated that room; it was too sad. I eventually had to repaint and move out of it. It is ten years this month since I said goodbye to her and I still cry, feel the loss and the overwhelming sense of guilt.

Life is packed with drama, big and small. It gets busy. That’s unavoidable. But, whether you are working at an insular job, such as writing, working in a hectic high-stress environment, or have days packed with to-do lists, you only get to live this day once. With each moment’s arrival, another has passed, never to be experienced again. The next time your child, your partner, or your fur friend asks for your attention, stop, if only for a minute. Grab ahold of the here and now. In seconds it will be gone.


  1. Sorry to hear about your dog. I still miss a dog I had growing up. Beautifully written tho.

  2. Vanessa,

    Thanks for stopping by the blog. Yes, our pets become part of our family, don't they? I am grateful that I now recognize how important they are to me, and appreciate their joyful presence on a daily basis.

  3. {{{{hugs}}}} for the loss of your fur baby. They make life worth living by making us think outside of our selves.

  4. Thanks, Zan Marie. They hold a special place in our hearts, don't they? :0)

  5. Rose, this was such a reminder. I had to put down my last Aussie who had cancer. They couldn't get to her right away so I waited in the car with her. She sat on the pavement with her head in my lap and I kept playing Gypsy Rover on the cd player and singing it to her, because it was one of her favorite songs. I used to sing a lot when I was working on the house and she'd always come up and lie down next to me when I sang that song.

    I said I'd never get another dog after Badger, but here is Gage the Wonder Dog at my feet. As irritating as it is when he keeps knocking over the trash when he scoots around under the desk, he won't be banished. The days they are fleeting.

    Wonderful, if heart tugging, post.

  6. Julie,

    I trust you hugged Gage after you left your poignant memory here. Thanks for dropping by and sharing.

  7. I think she understands. No one is perfect, we accept each other, flaws and all, just as she accepted you. Very good reminder. I don't remember who but someone said 'life is what happens when we're making other plans". It's good to remember and make time for the important things.

  8. Spesh, you are so right. We need to make a concerted effort not to allow planning to negate the here and now. I sure hope you are able to grab some "now" moments during the chaos of your current days. :o)

  9. Lost my Japanese Spitz, Clumsy, more than a year ago but up to now it still feels like yesterday. Miss her so much. And yes, virtual hug for the loss of your baby. I bet she and my baby are having an awesome time in doggie heaven!