Sad news

Greetings blog readers. Frodo here. Tasked with sharing a blog of happiness and sadness. I believe I was afforded this assignment as I could address it in the most appropriate way. This is a task for a mature canine writer.

Perhaps we should begin with the sadness first. Like a performance evaluation after an obedience exercise, it often helps to get the bad things out of the way first – and then focus on the positives.

Let’s begin with the first minor sadness – the continued demolition of the new dining room carpet. The most recent work occurred while Her Highness went “for a moment” into the bedroom, and accidentally fell sound asleep- leaving the marauding shark free to do as he pleased. She emerged from the bedroom to find a massive rug renovation. She will repair it – but suffice to say she was feeling a tad depressed. Especially knowing that it was her own fault for leaving the Shark unsupervised for more than 15 seconds. Her bad.

But that disappointment was completely trivial related to some news Her Highness received the other day. Some of you long time blog readers may recall some visits that we have had from Mighty Milo – a sweet Coton du Tulear who lives in New Brunswick. Our little friend amazed us with his larger-than-life persona- and we quite enjoyed his company. But he came by his amazing personality not just through genetics – but through the family he owned. Particularly- one of his ownees, Karen. Karen was an old friend of Her Highness’s. She was once a graduate student of Her Highness, then a colleague – and later and most importantly, a friend. Karen was, like Milo, larger than life. She was artistic, funny, witty, bright, caring – and a fierce warrior – willing to protect others – human and animal. She shared the same birthday with Her Highness! She was truly a rainbow in this sometimes cloudy world. She was a bright spot. Sadly, though, Karen lost her life the other day, after almost two decades in a battle against cancer. Her Highness was very sad to hear this news.

When someone dies, human, canine, feline…and no doubt other species in this wide world, it is virtually impossible not to be sad. One obviously misses the individual- and that sense of loss can go on for a long time. There is no “date” when grieving ends. No expiration date like on a box of biscuits. And sometimes, when one THINKS that grieving has ended, and life almost seems “normal” – something will happen to remind one of the tremendous loss. A song. A photo. A holiday. A scent. And the grief comes rushing back in – like PON rushing to his food dish. No point in blocking that feeling – the PON will get through. But hopefully, as more time goes on, one is not just focusing on the sadness and the loss- but on the brilliant luck to have had that individual in your life in the first place. And that is how one rides the grieving train. Look to the beautiful views. And try to ignore the dark tunnels. Look to the bright spot…

Our hearts go out to Karen’s family – and of course, to Might Milo who will miss his therapy dog visits to the hospital with Karen. Karen truly personified a life well lived….

Well. That’s a difficult passage to follow. But honestly, to end on such a sad note would NOT ever be Karen’s style. She would simply say “come on – that’s just depressing!” So in honor of her positive attitude and her continual effort to look for the brightness in any situation- we’ll share one bright note. The changing of my name.

Her Highness has discovered that I no longer respond to my name alone. I also respond QUITE rapidly to the name “Wojtek.” Why you might ask? Because I am astute enough to know that when the imp is called, every time he responds and comes, he receives a treat. So of course, I also respond. And because Her Highness cannot always resist my longing stare – she doles out the treats to yours truly as well.

I am also well aware that she carries treats in her pockets when we go out for a walk. And the other morning, she took yours truly and the imp on the golf course. And she let us both run free. Now the imp LOVES to race, jump, dodge, ricochet and fly around the course. And as soon as he is a good distance away, Her Highness calls him to return. Which he does remarkably well- because he knows about the treats. I prefer not to stray far at all – so I can reach the treats more quickly. I also know that when Her Highness reaches into her pocket, that a treat will follow. So I stay EXTRA CLOSE. Like trip-over-me close. And during our walk the other morning she made an unfortunate mistake. The weather has turned colder – meaning gloves or mittens are required attire for our morning constitutionals. But – in her effort to get the whirlwind imp out the door before he could pounce on me and tangle our leashes, she left her gloves on the counter. So what does one do with cold hands? Why of course one puts their hands in their pockets. And to me, hands in pockets signal treats….

Throughout the walk, Her Highness kept repeatedly saying to me “no – just be free. Move along.” But I wouldn’t unless she took her hands out of her pockets. I stuck to her like glue. So between the flying imp who quite enjoys ricocheting off humans when they least expect it, yours truly acting as a canine blockade, and a pair of frost bitten hands…..the walk was… interesting. To say the least. I am happy to report though, that the imp never strayed, I did not die of starvation on the walk, and after a few hours, her fingers were functioning just fine…

I hope that today, in a time when we know that sadness can be surrounding us – partly due to the challenges of the COVID, that you are still able to look around and find something to make you smile. Hold onto those you love and hold onto good memories. An email, a text, a phone call – you can make a difference in someone’s world. Do it now. Be a bright spot. And if you happen to be owned by a canine, you are lucky to have a bright spot covered in fur.

Except during those moments he happens to be eating your carpet…

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.

5 thoughts on “Sad news

  1. I knew Karen we’ll from her navy days. We reconnected a few years ago. She was a remarkable strong and loving woman – she will be missed by so many.


  2. Hi Frodo,

    We never met, but I do know your mom. I was her student a few years back at Dal with her wonderful aphasia communication group – such great memories!

    I have been lucky to know Karen first through my internship, and then as a co-worker. To say that she was amazing is putting it lightly. I want to thank you for your beautiful words!

    We did receive an update from our dear friend Milo! He’s been sleeping well and seems really good.

    Take care, and say hi to your mom for me!


    1. Hi Maddie. Thanks so much for this note! Karen was a truly special woman – and it’s lovely to see the outpouring of love for her. I hope you are doing well – I remember you well – and know you were also a terrific student!


  3. Sincerest sympathy to you for the loss of your friend. Losing a friend is never easy. May fond memories comfort you and give you peace. 🌸🌸


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