the original post that started this blog, per your requests (not sure why some browsers won't go back that far):
2 weeks ago, I said goodbye to my best friend, my companion of 18 years-2 husbands-3 houses-millions of tears- 2 million smiles- 3 cars-4 dress sizes- 2 dogs- 1 cat-uncountable cups of coffee - 18,720 packs of cigarettes- 3 carpets - 6 jobs - and so many many of life's special wabi sabi moments sweet and dear. My dearest - my Kita - who taught me about love and patience and listening to the unspoken and seeing with the heart when there was no common language except the heart - except the essential - the essence of each...the appreciation of what each brought to other. just a dog, you may say. unless you've had a dog - shared your life with that constant companion who asks only for a scratch behind the ears (and 1/2 your hamburger) you can't understand. his coat absorbed the tears cried with my lifes anguish...his tail wagged when lightness came to our house. his dark eyes seemed to know the secrets i kept from the world. every night in the summer, we'd walk the neighborhood at 7 o'clock - the best part of the evening - and when dusk began to fall, he'd insist on stopping just outside the door in front of the stoop and sit with his back to me - still, quiet, looking out to the stars as if thanking his Creator for the day and all it had contained. 6 months ago, we said goodbye to my husband's dog Bear. A truly wonderful friend i had known a mere 6 years, yet mourned with my deepest heart of hearts. i asked him to save a place for Kita, knowing the time would be all too soon for the friends to reunite. when the evening came for Kita, i admit, i wasn't ready to say goodbye. it was the kindest thing, i know. his pain, his parts worn and weary. but how do you say goodbye to all that he is, was? i screamed and cursed the good that we had, for it made it that much harder to let him go. there is something so undeniably pure in the love you get from a dog....a love that asks for nothing in return - it just ...is. My youngest dog still looks for him. she goes to the spot he slept and sniffs for him. she mourns for him. Today, i received a package in the mail from the emergency vet we'd taken him to - some of the kindest, most compassionate people i've known. it was a plaster cast of his pawprint. i ran my finger over the dips and curves, so very glad for this one personal tactile remembrance. yet my heart tore and screamed. how long will my heart cry? how long will i mourn? i have a curl of his fur in a small jar on my desk with the quote from ee cummings on it "I carry your heart with me - I carry it in my heart." last weekend i took my little dog to the lake. I'm not the type to look for signs and messages - i just live my life and try to make the right decisions. but, i had been asking for a sign that Kita forgave me, for it seemed like we never got a proper goodbye with him in such a critical state. when i pulled into the grassy area by the boat launch, it looked as though someone had run a lawnmower over a large amount of paper - it seemed as though "confetti" was flying everywhere. when we got out of the car, i looked closer - Monarch butterflies - thousands of them - literally thousands. on a stop as they head out on migration. thank you, Kita for the show. my best friend, i love you to the moon and back.