Thursday, June 07, 2012

Blog Guelph: Lessons Learned

Woodland Jog by Aidan M.D. Ware
Woodland Jog, a photo by Aidan M.D. Ware on Flickr.

Life perfect ain't perfect
If you don't know what the struggle's for
Falling down ain't falling down
If you don't cry when you hit the floor
It's called the past cause I'm getting past
And I ain't nothing like I was before
~ Alicia Keys, Lessons Learned

Sometimes our hearts are tripped by time, by circumstances beyond the turning of our hands. And it is in these times that our character is really tested, the measure of ourselves and our decisions taken.

Lessons learned.

Last week I lost my dog Bennet to a breed-specific disease known as Doberman cardiomyopathy. It was essentially heart failure. It was one of the most difficult things that I have faced in my life and there were times when I wondered if I’d ever feel better.  But, what I realized in the deepest part of my sadness, was that I had to honour the many things that Bennet taught me about life.

Lessons learned.

Living in the moment. 

Bennet always stayed right within each moment. He didn’t worry about the future or the past, he only asked for things in the present. Whether that was some of my lunch, or a squirrel in the tree – he paid attention to the now and the here.


He was always happy. Happy to see me every day, happy every time I came in the door, happy every time I called him back from a run. He was happy to eat, happy to play, happy to have a hug, happy to give a great big yawn, happy to sleep in, and even happy to talk on the telephone (which he did). Bennet really enjoyed life. He took joy from all the little things each day.


I have never met a person that demonstrated such profound commitment and loyalty. He was a fierce protector and he never strayed more than a few meters from me off leash. He came with me whenever he could and never wanted to be left behind. 


Bennet collapsed on a walk six months ago which was the first major sign of the serious nature of his heart condition. Every indication at that time was that he could live for 6-8 weeks with medication. We chose not to medicate him given his age and side effects. But he lived for another 6 months. And in the last week when he could no longer walk down the street, he still tried to defend me from passers-by. And in the last day when I had to say goodbye, he kept his head high and walked stoically beside me for the last time. His lungs were full of fluid and he was exhausted but he stood with me and when he fell asleep his eyes stayed open.

Like a true guard dog he kept his eyes open, even in death. 

Profound dignity.

And so I’m left to think about my own life now and the choices I make and the person I am. My own measure is taken.

My lessons learned.

~ Aidan M.D. Ware


Unknown said...

Sorry for your loss, Aidan... not easy, i know. And valuable lessons to learn.

Aidan M.D. Ware said...

Thank you Kim, I appreciate.

~ Aidan

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