5 Dog Pinches You'll Want
It’s the very last day of December and I’m looking at a section in the mudroom. For those who don’t need a mudroom in your home - consider yourself lucky. Our mudroom is the space between our garage and our kitchen and in the winter, we hang all sorts of jackets and we stuff our hats, gloves and scarfs in rows of drawers. You can find boots under benches which are there to sit on while you put on said items. This same room is where we keep our washer and dryer and there is also a sink and a hamper. On this particular day, I am looking at one section of my mudroom that is entirely dedicated to hold everything we used for my dog Bruin.
We put Bruin down on 9/22, eight days before he would have turned fourteen years old. Although it is the end of December, everything in this section of the mudroom has remained in tact. On shelves there are huge containers of food and dog biscuits. His leash hangs on a hook and his medication hasn’t been touched. The bowl for water and food is still on the floor where it has been for many years. It’s all there. I just can’t do anything with this section of the mudroom. It is the one thing I could control and for weeks, it needed to stay as is. However, with the new year coming up, I feel motivated to donate. I know there are dogs who are in need and could use all of the above.
Since the loss of Bruin, my family has received some very thoughtful pinches and I’m sharing them with you because these gifts can be given to celebrate a dog whether they are here today or have passed away.
The bouquet of cookies. We had flown to LA to visit family and watch the Vikings lose to the Rams - it was a bitter sweet visit. After a long flight and travel, it was such a surprise to come home to a cookie bouquet. Although there was a card attached, it wasn’t signed so we didn’t know who was thinking of us. I went to bed that night feeling blessed to have friends and family who care so much about us. The next day I called Cookies by Design to find out who sent us the thoughtful pinch. Sure enough, it was from our friends Julie and Tom Bonds. The actual act of sending us cookies is nothing to be surprised about because this family is very thoughtful. But if you only knew how many moving parts this family had going on in their lives at that moment you would be both inspired and intimidated. How they were able to stop everything in order to send us this wish remains a mystery. I don’t know how they always have time for us. In a word, this family is magical!
2. The pillow. I received a pillow at the end of yoga class shortly after Bruin passed away. I had been faithfully going to yoga class every Tuesday and there I met a fellow yogi who happens to read my blog. On the day she gave me the pillow, Cynthia told me that she read my blog about Bruin and wanted to give me something to soothe the pain. The combo of yoga fog and shock that someone actually read my blog, left me speechless other than saying the words “thank you”. The pillow was and still remains one of the biggest comforts for the hub and I. It represents more than the feeling we have every time we look at it. I see both softness and complicated lines. I see sweet eyes that makes me think that Bruin forgives me and who can resist that nose? The pillow represents the kindness, thoughtfulness and courage that my friend Cynthia had to find a photo online and have the pillow made for us. As Cynthia says, “You don’t always know what you need until you have it.” She’s insightful!
3. Last year the professional gift-giver, my friend Christy, told me about Pup Socks. It’s a company that will customize a pair of socks using an image of your dog that you provide. I am not sure if Christy told me about them because I was looking for pinches to give to a dog owner who lost a dog or who just got a puppy but I made a note so I could remember what to give for either case. Well because my cousin Jay-Jay just knows these things, I received a pair of Pup Socks from her for Christmas and it melted my heart. I was really missing him during the holidays and this pair just cheered me right up. She’s so wise!
4. The Memory Stone. Another great gift giver, Allison, gave each of my kids one of these memory stone kits. Her wish was for them to commemorate Bruin by creating a stone and keeping it in the yard in his honor. Not only were these pinches thoughtful and sweet, but they were dropped off moments after Allison learned that Bruin was gone. She’s unbelievable!
5. The picture. When we went on that California visit (Vikings vs. Rams) days after Bruin passed, we stayed with my in-laws. In their house, I spotted a super cool picture of my sister-in-law’s dog that I absolutely loved! She must have made a mental note because I got my own picture for Christmas. It’s a special feeling to know that Hailey remembered how I felt about her picture and so she went out of her way to have a picture made for us. She’s a good listener!
The cookies, the pillow, the memory stones, the socks and the picture - all of these are so comforting to me. Yet on a totally different emotional spectrum, each of the five dog pinches can be given to anyone who is celebrating a new member of their family. I love how these gifts can comfort or celebrate.
Therapeutically, in writing this blog, I know now that I am totally surrounded by many items that will help keep Bruin’s spirit alive. I have come to the realization that it’s time to let go of my “make-shift sanctuary” in the mudroom. And because I count my blessings and I’m so grateful that we have people in our lives who care about us, it’s now our turn to help others by donating all the food, treats and medication. I am confident that I have everything I need to help me move on so it’s time to clear out that section in our mudroom! Happy New Year!