This past Friday, my sweet Little Lhasa Apso rescue dog, only eight weeks old, left this world. My granddaughter Samantha had named her Padu, which means “puffball” in Tibetan. Of course, she had to have a Tibetan name, given that she was, indeed, of Tibetan origin.
We’d been looking for the right dog for over a year when Sami discovered this breed and fell in love with a Lhasa Apso that she met while vacationing with my daughter. “It’s the perfect dog! You love Tibet and all the people there and it will remind you of being there”. All true, so ahead we forged looking for a rescue site that had a Lhasa Apso. Sami sent off an e-mail to a large rescue site in California and the next day I got a response stating that, yes, there was a rescued Lhasa Apso mom that had just had puppies, one of them female. It seemed so easy and right. We had found our baby!
We couldn’t get her until the first week of July, and I just couldn’t wait that long to see her. So last Wednesday off my friend Eileen and I went to make the eight hour drive to meet her.
Terri Stonehocker is a woman living her passion. She has rescued over 3,000 dogs and has a wonderful 10 acre home for them. She is devoted to her work and it shows every time she interacts with one of her many charges. As we walked into the room where Padu lived with her mom and two brothers, I spotted her right away. There she was, a small cream colored puffball with big dark brown eyes. After spraying off with antiseptic, she was placed in my arms, or I should say, hands and I loved her instantly. I held her against my chest and could feel her little body leaning into mine and deeply relaxing. I didn’t want to let her go which started a conversation about taking her home with me. But she seemed too fragile to leave her mother, too little.
We all say it, don’t we? “Life is so fragile. “We never know how little time we have.”
Isn’t it so true! And there really is no “mine”. All temporary, all borrowed, all one sweet moment of connection to another being, perhaps turning into another moment, perhaps not.
Samantha was so sad – it didn’t make sense that it seemed so perfect and now, before we ever really had her, we lost her. It made me think about life and presence – eight weeks vs. eight or eighty years. I thought about parents who had lost children so young, the heartbreak and the profound impact that one being can have on our life, an impact that is timeless.
I love that Samantha found her and that I was so strongly moved to visit her and love her for a short moment of her short life. Sadness moving between us, lying on her bed with a stuffed dog between us, tears slowly finding their way to the pillows beneath. Learning about death . . . .