Dear My Sweet Jemma,

Thank you to my Sweet Jemma.

The cancer took my Border Collie, Belle, in March of this year. She had put up a great fight and was very brave. She was too young to die, but a good dog is always too young for death. She herded chickens till her last day here on earth. She will forever be a part of my soul. Her death left an empty place in my heart and home.

Two years before her death I had brought home an Australian Shepherd pup named Jemma. She was everything Belle wasn’t. Belle was intense and farm work orientated. Jemma was a clown and not in the least bit interested in the flock. Belle was leary of strangers and a great watchdog. No one was a stranger to Jemma. Belle only tolerated Jemma. Last winter, as Belle’s cancer spread, I wished I had chosen a Border Collie two years earlier. I loved Jemma, but….there was always a but.

When Belle passed it was nice having this other dog to greet me at the door. But, she wasn’t Belle. And she would run for a Frisbee and bring it back. But, she wasn’t Belle.

No, she wasn’t Belle. She was my sweet Jemma. Eight months have passed since Belle’s death and as my heart has healed I have been able to see what a great dog I truly have in my life. It must have been hard for her to live in Belle’s shadow. Much to my surprise this summer, she started moving the flock. She had been watching and learning from that great Border Collie for two years.

I want to thank Jemma for being my happiness as my soul healed. I want to thank her for being MY dog.

Helen Keller once said, “…All that we love deeply becomes a part of us”. I am blessed to have loved deeply.


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