What Does the Future Hold?

I’m reposting the story I wrote for my beloved dog Cookie on the first anniversary of her death. Even though I adopted a new delightful companion, Pinto, soon after her death, I know I will always remember the last walk we took together and the aching grief I felt as I held her in my arms as she quietly stopped breathing, an end to her debilitating pain.

Voices from the Margins

Carol A. Hand

In April, 2013, I wrote a story about an encounter that featured my beloved dog, Cookie. I ended with the question, “Who knows what next spring will bring?”

front yard april 21 2013

It was the end of the longest, snowiest winter I can remember during her life – it kept snowing until May. I suspected as I wrote the question that it would be Cookie’s last spring. I had seen her gradually age during our 11 years together. I have lost loved ones before, yet losing Cookie is somehow much more painful. I have lost a beloved friend and teacher. She taught me about becoming ever more loving, peaceful, and gentle. And on our final walk together, she showed me how to savor each moment of life, to stop frequently and take in the beauty that surrounds us with each new step.

I am so grateful for her friendship during those…

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About Carol A. Hand

What matters are not the titles I’ve held or university degrees I earned or the size of a house or bank account. It’s really what I’ve learned from ordinary people like me whom I’ve met along the way. They taught me to live with gratitude and give thanks for each new day.
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6 Responses to What Does the Future Hold?

  1. toritto says:

    I know that feeling. Been there. Regards

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  2. Oh Carol, that was such a beautiful though terribly sad tribute to Cookie. I know the pain you went through; god I’ve been losing loved companions too long now. I fear this the last winter for Tinky, a cairn terrier we rescued from the shelter. She too had been abused; she will bark and nip at dark colored shoes—black boots particularly set her off—of anyone she not familiar with; flip-flops, sandals and light colored shoes she is has no problem.

    Although you’ve spoke on this before it’s just now registering in my thick dimwitted skull; what took me by surprise is the disrespectful treatment dispensed by faculty at institutions of higher learning. Having only attended a local two-year technical college, and of course having only the exposure and treatment of a white lower middle class, I had no idea. I had always envisioned colleges, their staff particularly, above racism and prejudices; colleges after all housed the thinking intelligent philosophical ones, or so I thought.

    Likewise, I learned yesterday from the Jeffster Awards of the disgraceful sums paid adjunct professors.

    Thank you, Carol.

    Like

    • carolahand says:

      Peter, once again let me say how grateful I am that you are part of my blogging community. I appreciate your thoughtful comments. It’s not surprising that you also rescue animals that have been abandoned and abused. Pinto, my newest companion, a little Papillion-Chihuahua, was also a special-needs dog because of prior abuse and neglect. Although about 1/10th the size of Cookie, he’s quite a fierce guard dog – and he sings with my parakeets every morning.

      Ah yes, working for universities was an eye-opening experience. I realize it would have been much easier for me if I had been willing to go along with the tide, belittling the most gifted and vulnerable students and colleagues. There’s a stiff price to pay for speaking truth to power. Fortunately at that point I wasn’t an adjunct, and at some points, I even got raises that made my colleagues angry because of my research and prior experience. But I have also worked as an adjunct for ridiculous salaries and ongoing expectations that I must also volunteer my time to attend meetings and follow rules developed by administrators with far less education and teaching/practice experience. I don’t always need to be outspoken about my views. Sometimes it’s easier to just decide to live even leaner. 🙂

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