By Garima Singhal

I had never known love, real love until I met the love of my life, a small, scraggly, underage, Doberman pup. He came to me at an age that no pup should be separated from their birth mother and we both suffered the life long consequences of that. That shocking early start to his life did not change what he was meant to become, the most loving, kind and gentle dog that had ever lived, and looks can be deceiving.

He was feared at first glance by all those who met him. However, once they got to know him and found out that all he wanted to do was have you toss his ball and sit at your feet, people’s attitude and affections towards him changed. With time, illness and that dreadful word cancer took over, and before any of us had had the time to blink or breathe, he slipped from our fingers.

Even though he is now gone from this world, his spirit lingers on, in everything I do, and in how I live my life. He taught me many things, but most of all, his presence in my life made me keenly aware of the suffering of others like him. It was this that got me through the catastrophe of losing him and brought me out the other side. The constant knowledge that wallowing in grief was not an option when many like him needed to be helped and things needed to be done kept me waking up every day. He will live on forever in my heart, he was my child who I didn’t give birth to, and the grief of losing my first child will linger on. But with time, this grief will hopefully change into actions, and that’s all that we can hope for right now.

Garima Singhal
Toronto

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