Riva earnt her angel wings on Saturday and I’m heart broken, i’m guttered, I’m beyond words and consumed by big ugly tears.
Amongst the tears of loss, Riva is still managing to teach me a lesson.
In fact, I think it’s one of the most pivotal lessons of my life and it has nothing to do with being a dog trainer and everything to do with being human!
What is it? It’s a bit raw but Riva is helping me to deal with trauma and be in a space of processing grief for the very first time in my life. You see, I’m a ‘bottler’ – I store up all my past grief, challenges and trauma and you can probably guess where that landed me!
But this morning I began to think about how she could be teaching me from beyond the bridge and the answer is pretty simple.
It’s about the journey of discovery it’s about connection, bond, co-existence and understanding.
Riva wasn’t and still isn’t just a dog, she’s a family member, she was a compliment to my life every single day of her existence. Riva was a comedian, a total ‘Diva’ and had to be in the centre of everything or risk being in FOMO land and she is high maintenance, can’t you just visual her in a human form right now……lol.
My point is, there are dog owners and there are ‘dog owners’.
A ‘dog owner’ is one that understands a dog is an extension or expansion of the family. The one who loves to have the dog snuggle up on the bed in the morning just like their kids did when they where younger. This dog owner takes time to learn the nuances of this new family member, it’s preferences – what it likes what it doesn’t like and not just fob it off as fussy, uncooperative, stubborn or worse ‘broken’.
This ‘dog owner’ will be heavily engrossed in a movie and at the cliff hanger your dog will get up, stretch (Yoga style, down ward dog) and walk to the door to be let out because is wants to sniff a blade of grass and you probably grumble a bit (I know I do, because I swear to god, Riva did this every time) but every time I got up and let her out, stood out in the freezing cold and waited for her to return.
The point is our connection, bond whatever verb you want to put it was deep, so beautifully and annoying deep that Riva keeps on giving even though she has passed on in this life.
I would not trade this experience for anything in the world, through my grief at her passing Riva has truly cemented for me the type of dog owner I am.
Maybe you don’t yet know what type of dog owner you are, or want to be, but if in some small space in your mind and heart this resonates with you, then take a page out of Riva’s book, titled “The Journey”
What’s your book called? Tell us below.