My Dog Was My Greatest Teacher


My dog Ringo lived every day with the same enthusiasm.  He loved life, he was silly and fun and kind and filled with joy.  He was my constant companion and my partner in adventure. He loved everything and everyone.   At just 14 months old, on June 21st, my dog Ringo passed away from cancer.  Two days later, my husband Rob and I got on a plane, landed in San Francisco and began a road trip through the American northwest.  We were on the Pacific coastline, we were driving through majestic redwood trees....we were surrounded by breathtaking beauty.... but we saw none of it.   We discovered that you can't outrun grief.  We had no destination.  As we put more and more miles against the heartache of losing our beloved dog, one day we found ourselves at Crater Lake Oregon.

I had read about Crater Lake in Cheryl Strayed's excellent book, 'Wild'.    It is deep (second deepest lake in North America) and as blue as the sky.

But it wasn't the grandness of Crater Lake that took away some clouds for me that day.  It was the chipmunks. The tiny little busy-bodies on the lakeside cliffs that went about their day, collecting flower pods, popping up from driftwood crevices, chasing each other from rockface to tree stump.

My dog Ringo appreciated each and every little thing that came his way.  He lived in the moment.  And each day of his short life, Ringo was teaching me to do the same.