Dear The Diva,

Dear Emma: You were born in my heart on a mountain top where I was told by the spirits that a dog was waiting for me at the shelter nearby. To be honest with you, I wasn’t in the market for a dog at that particular time in my life; however, the message was so strong that I had no choice but to high tail it to the shelter. You were the second dog that I looked at and I knew we were to be together.

You put up with the car alarm going off every time you moved in the car (a feature that I wasn’t aware of for a full year after I got you). You put up with the cat who was in residence when you arrived and she simply hated your guts and wasn’t afraid to show it. You put up with me trying out different house sitters so you would not have to stay in the house alone. And, when I thought it was a good idea for us to be trained to go into hospitals to visit patients, you gladly went through six months of training and two years of service. Everyone loved you and you shared your heart with so many people that were in pain, were lonely, or just plain needed a hug from someone who would not judge them (especially the nurses).

You are now in your beautiful crone years and I cry almost every day when I see you limp a bit on our walks. On those walks, I reflect on the lessons that I have learned from you in the past and the one you are currently teaching me. That is the hardest lesson of all – to live and love in the moment and not cry for what may come. I have jumped off that cliff of love and trust and learned to love unconditionally. That gift, my sweet sweet girl, will stay with me forever.

Janine Shea


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