Hanging in there

Thursday, Aug 08

Well, Buck had to be put down; he was in too much pain and he depended on me to do what needed to be done.  Maybe that’s the greatest act of love we can show a dearly beloved pet–stepping up to do the hard thing when it’s time.  Yes, I cried a lot, and I still cry, because I miss him, our Grand Old Man of the Barn, but the truth is, these are selfish tears.  Buck is in a better place, where the grass is greener and sweeter and the running is good.
I have a certain peace, too, with all the sadness.  Buck couldn’t have faced another Northwest winter; his old bones just wouldn’t have been able to take it.  And, though he was abused in his youth, when I got him, around 12 years ago, I promised him he’d be safe and comfortable, with plenty to eat, and I kept that promise. 
Godspeed, old horse.  I’ll see you again farther down the trail.
On a brighter note, the Lael family reunion is this weekend, and that’s going to be a lot of fun.  This year, we’re meeting at a place with water slides and bumper cars and nifty things, with an eye to giving the younger members of the clan something exciting to do.  After all, we want to keep these reunions going, and the only way to do that is for the youngsters to carry on the tradition. 
You all know how much I love my family.  They’re a great bunch–funny and creative and friendly and, best of all, decent to the bone.  We do a lot of laughing at these gatherings, which is good for the soul, and a little crying, too.  There’s an aunt to hug, since she lost her husband of 69 years last month, and I’ll probably garner a few hugs myself.  These are my people.  We care about each other.
I had an acupuncture treatment yesterday and, boy, did I need it.  Most of the time, I don’t feel the needles at all, but yesterday a couple of them gave me a pretty good twinge.  Debra, my cousin-acupuncturist, said they had to do with emotions–and Lord knows, I’ve had plenty of those recently.  Soon, though, I was almost floating, I was so relaxed.  And the heartache let up a little, too.  Even in losing a horse, there are many things to be grateful for: he didn’t suffer, he had a great last day outside with the others in the band, and Jenni and Jeremy gave him beer (he loved it) and a whole bag of carrots, all for him, no having to share.  I spent some good-bye time with him, and he let me hug and pet him in a way he usually wouldn’t have tolerated.  He died with dignity, and there were plenty of people around to give him support and love–and they gave me plenty of the same.
That same day, babies and puppies and all manner of creatures were born, all over this lovely blue-green planet.
The circle of life.  It’s a beautiful thing.

About Linda

The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is a #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West.

Raised in Northport, Washington, Linda pursued her wanderlust, living in London and Arizona and traveling the world before returning to the state of her birth to settle down on a horse property outside Spokane.

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