This past Monday our black lab mix Sonny was hit by a car and killed. I had just let him and the other two dogs, Candy and Rambo, our toy poodles out as I did every morning I was in town. Normally the poodles come right back in and Sonny goes off on his morning rounds on our 32-acre property. I’ll go in and get some coffee and sit down to read the news on my phone and listen for him to scratch on the back door. On Monday though he didn’t come back. I think he followed some deer down to the main road and that’s where I found him.
I keep trying to think of some creative way to tie this in a blog post but actually I’ve got nothing.
Then I started thinking about our experiences with Sonny. Many of them were wonderful. How I’d run with him in Maryland before both of my hips got replaced. How he was so excited when we moved to Tennessee and he didn’t have to run in a small yard. How he’d love it when I’d take him outside and we’d walk the property. How I would sneak him an extra Beggin’ Strip when the poodles went into the other room. He knew he was my favorite.
There were some bad experiences too. His black hair that seemed to be everywhere. How we’d have to vacuum every SINGLE DAY! How he’d climb up on the furniture when he thought we were out of the house. How he bit one of my daughter’s friends when she was in middle school and I swore we were going to be sued.
The one thing I felt this morning though, just 24 hours after I found him is that there is pure emptiness. He had an impact on all of our lives. We notice that he’s gone.
I’m sure there are times you feel like what you do and who you are don’t matter. The reality is that all of us matter. We all have an impact. Maybe the key is to realize that the impact we ought to leave should be a good one. When we’re gone, what people will remember is the void we no longer fill. I hope for all of our sake, it’s a good one.