Lessons from the Road 033: An Old Yeller Moment

An Old Yeller Moment

RIP my beloved Denbeigh. 1997-2010
RIP my beloved Denbeigh. 1997-2010

My first roadtrip in 2010 began with a premonition that my beloved dog Denbeigh wouldn’t live to see me return. He’d been having seizures for about nine months and the vet advised that even if he could figure out what was wrong, which would be expensive, there was not likely to be a cure.

My little guy had given me a lot of love in his thirteen years and he knew all my secrets. When he had a seizure I’d just scoop him up or lie down beside him and tell him I loved him as I stroked his soft head. He had a special spot right between his eyebrows that I used to rub — you can see the little indention where the white strip runs down to his nose in the picture to the left. It was a long series of goodbyes and I’m grateful to have had that opportunity.

My boys, then eighteen and twenty-one were holding down the fort (ha!) while my husband visited me in Oregon, and while the timing of the call was unexpected, the nature of it was not. My eldest son, Carter, couldn’t bear to call me with the news of Denbeigh’s passing; he called my husband instead. Carter dug Denbeigh’s grave in the back yard with a little moral support from a neighbor, an Old Yeller moment of sorts. The old Corgi was the only dog either of my boys had ever known.

I don’t tell you this to dwell on a sorrowful episode, I tell it to remind you of something you’ve heard a million times.

Sometimes we do have premonitions and sometimes we don’t, so the best advice I can give you is to live every day as if it were your last. What can you do today to make it a great day? A memorable day? It could be a little thing: tell someone you love them; hug your dog; buy yourself a bunch of flowers. Whatever you choose, make it a great day.  

About Tamela Rich

Author Tamela has extensively traveled the U.S. and Canada, delivering her message to Pack Light | Travel Slow | Connect Deep. Her keynotes and workshops include life lessons she has learned through chance encounters on the road.

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