My “puppy love” as I have recently started to call him has quickly become a little gentleman on the leash and we are close to being in the coveted mind-meld that exists between very fortunate humans and their puppy loves. As we walked in harmony tonight I told Jax that he was the “best dog in the entire world”, a phrase so natural to me I did not realize what I was saying until after I said it. Only after the words came out of my mouth did I realize that it was the same phrase I had reserved for my sweet Babe and Dutch. It was a phrase that I had vowed to never utter after they passed. I had promised myself I would find a different special phrase when Jax came home, and here it was flowing out of my mouth so easily.
As we walked I talked heavenward to them, the same way many people speak to their human family members that have passed away. I told them that they were all the best dogs in the world, and that even though they would forever be in my heart, Jax was now here on earth with me to be my puppy love now that they had passed into heaven.
The walk with Jax came at a time when I have been thinking a lot about new love versus old love, new friends and old friends, family who have known you forever and those who are just becoming close to my heart. When you’ve left your old world, not once but twice, you have to open your heart to the new friends, the new loves. When you have a small immediate family and they pass away, you open your heart to family that you’ve known for awhile but are now finally getting to know well.
I have often wondered that if my Mom could come back to earth for even a few days, would she know who I was talking about when I talked about my Jax, our other dog Maggie, my step-kids, my husband, the co-workers who keep me sane each day, the friends I have made since I moved to Illinois? All of the names that come up in my day to day existence are new. I am surrounded by new love and it is just as special to me as the old love that has been by my side all of these years, my best friends, my Dad, my own step-parents.
What I’ve learned is that love is love, old or new. Sometimes you need the comfort of your old friends, the ones who know you almost better than you know yourself, and sometimes you need the excitement of a new puppy to fill the void left behind by the old dogs who are waiting at the rainbow bridge. Sometimes you have someone like my husband, where four and a half years ago he was a new love, and just two years ago we vowed to love each other until the end of our lives, so we will transition together from new love to old love, and hopefully really really old love.And when you really think about it old love was once new love, old friends were once new friends, and old pups were new pups.