“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
― Josh Billings
Sunny was the love of my life. An angel with four legs. He came into my life at a time when I didn’t believe love was possible. I was living in a renovated barn on a dirt road in Vermont. He was lost at a rest stop along the highway. Our paths crossed when a friend at the animal shelter in Brattleboro called to say I had to get to the shelter that day because a great dog was going to be put down in the morning.
I didn’t have room in my life for a dog. I was lying on lying on the floor with a bad back and broken heart. I said no, but the voice inside my head said, “You need to go get that dog.” So I took extra aspirin and drove to the shelter. The plan was to save the dog and give it to my ex-boyfriend who already had two dogs.
But Sunny had other plans. He adopted me. I was his. And he became mine the second he bounded into the waiting room at the shelter and put his head between my knees and wagged his whole body. Whoever lost him must’ve been heartbroken. Part Golden Retriever and part Great Pyrenees he was over hundred pounds, well-trained, and the most beautiful dog I’d ever seen.
Sunny brought sunshine into my home, healing both my body and my spirit. All that mattered to him was the present moment, the joy of a rub behind the ears, a bowl of food and walks in nature. He squirmed and licked, and leaned hard into my body, grounding me with his love. He taught me to be still, hold my head up high, to lie in the snow and let the flakes cover my body, to be gentle and greet everyone with joy. He was a reflection of everything I longed to be.
We didn’t know we wouldn’t have much time together, didn’t know late the following year he’d have an accident and I would have to put him down, didn’t know his coming and going would change my life. What mattered was for a while we walked the same path, we loved deeply, and we saved each other’s lives.