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My Grinchy Heart

My Grinchy Heart

My Grinchy Heart

This past Friday was my soulmate-dog-in-heaven’s birthday, my Finn, and I felt his vibrant presence all day. Gavin bounced and bopped through our walk despite not seeing one person for him to greet. I soared through my morning order-picking and packing routine with a rhythm I rarely find. And I did a silent happy dance when I found the remaining turkey I needed at grocery store number six. 

Finn was my anchor, rock, and muse. He helped me find the strength and vitality I didn’t know I had. He joyously hiked with me through mountains and trails all over as an escape from graduate school. He lovingly tolerated my clumsiness as I muddled through the mechanics of teaching him to relax and not react to other dogs on walks. His spirit and spunk gave me the courage to leave my financially stable yet unfulfilling corporate job to pursue a career in dog training despite being terrified of failing.

I remember that twinge of guilt I felt when I started bonding, really opening my heart to Gavin. Would loving Gavin lessen my love for Finn? Would it make me forget all the fond memories I had with Finn? Would it change the person Finn helped me become? 

Years later, I know that Finn’s always with me. I carry his tenacity, zest for life, and mischievous sense of humor in my heart as I’ve also let Gavin soften my edges. Gavin’s snuggly, smushy ways are helping me learn vulnerability, tenderness, and the awe of stillness and silence.

As a business owner, there’s always work to do, but I was absolutely wiped out over the weekend, and Gavin gladly spent Sunday under the covers snoring while I binge-watched Mad Men. He eventually gets too hot and will emphatically rustle out from under the comforter and curl up next to me. When I look at his sweet face and rub his belly, I feel my heart expand every time, like the Grinch at the end of the iconic movie. And I always feel ready and excited for the week after having a delightful downtime with my dog.

When I jumped on Instagram Monday, I noticed a separate section of direct message requests. And I missed a bunch (like a lot) of private messages. I felt terrible. But I’ve never enjoyed scrolling through social media (sorry). It’s always made me feel like a voyeur seeing things about peoples’ lives I barely know that I shouldn’t see. And I can’t multi-task when I’m making pouches or packing orders. Both need all my attention. 

Fortunately, everyone was lovely at my slow response to their questions (thank you). Again, I felt my heart flowering in response to their kindness. I now know to check those messages more frequently, and on my best days, I’ll do it with a heart full of both Finn and Gavin’s love.

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