I'm first off going to say that I'm not a reader. Never have been. I love magazines...looking at the pictures that is! My mom always wished I would get that love for reading. Some kids would read. Not me. All I wanted to do was play outside!
The same kinda holds true for me today. I would rather be making something or outside doing something than sitting down with a book. More recently, though, I've found comfort in a few books.
Shortly after losing Lexi I was wandering through Books A Million one day and as I was headed out of the store my eye caught a whole end cap full of dog books. The wound was fresh from losing our girl and I had been praying to God for some help coping. It was like He was speaking to me and told me to pick up this book...
The cover photo was of a little Boston Terrier pup! What a priceless picture! I couldn't resist. I read the back cover and then glanced at a couple of the first pages. Tears began to fall as I was standing right there in the middle of the store. I'm sure people thought I was nuts. So, instead of continuing to cry in public, I bought the book and quickly jumped into my car and began reading and crying in private.
I worked my way through this inspirational book by Julie Klam, reading many sections out loud to Dynamo. We cried together and laughed a lot. The book was all about Julie's experiences rescuing Boston Terriers and how the dogs in her life have truly all had purposes. She discusses the lessons she learned and the true rewards of dog ownership. Dogs truly do choose their owners...not the other way around.
Reading her book cover to cover helped me to cope. Now that we've crossed over into a new chapter, never forgetting the old, I thought it might be beneficial to share with you this book and how special it was and how I will cherish it always. I underlined particular parts I wanted to remember. There were so many parts of the book that spoke right to us. I'm sure I will read it again. For now, it sits on the shelf in the bookcase waiting. If you're looking for a good book, check it out!
Believe it or not that inspired me to look for more books on the topics of pet loss and inspirational dog stories. Never having a dog as an adult, I didn't realize what a special place Lexi had in my heart, until she wasn't there anymore. That saying about never knowing what you have until it's gone definitely holds true. I wanted to continue reading about other people's experiences and relationships with their companions. I think ultimately I wanted some validation that I wasn't crazy for loving my dog as much as I did and for grieving so much over her.
So, naturally I bought Klam's next book...
A quicker, more light read than her first, but still powerful and inspirational. I love her honesty and tone. I felt like I could relate to her...almost as though I knew her!
And, then I bought and read this book...
This book has some fun stories about women writers and their relationships with their dogs. Some of the stories are sad and some are happy. I cried a little and laughed too! I even marked a story for Dynamo to read. It's truly amazing to see how everyone's relationships with their furry companions differ, but in the end having a dog makes you a better person.
So, I thought I'd share some of these good reads in case you're interesting. Everyone heals in different ways. For a non-reader like me, I think it was simply finding a subject that appealed to me. I'm starting another book now called...
I know...it's gonna be a tear jerker! But...we all love a good cry every once in a while. Dynamo always asks me why I put myself through sad movies and now these books! It's torture, but they are good tears, though, because the important part about losing an animal is that you're left with tons of awesome memories! We hold those close to our heart and now laugh about them often. We look at our little Charlie and thank God for him. He was part of the plan for us to heal. He makes us laugh so much it hurts. He is similar in many ways to Lexi, but he's his own dog! He knows we need him and is helping us to move forward and love again. We are blessed everyday! Even though sometimes at 2 a.m. and again at 4 a.m. when you're outside and he wants to play instead of poop, we kinda wonder what we were thinking having a "baby." There's so much joy and excitement in this great little guy. We can't wait to see what's next!
So, pick up a good book today (preferably a dog one) and read till your heart's content. And, remember to trust in God. I never forget this verse...
New International Version (NIV)
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."