This afternoon I went over to my aunt and uncle's house to say goodbye to the best dog ever, I know people say that a lot but Sassy truly was. She is a beautiful golden retriever who has had a lot of life in her (almost) 12 years. From chasing the kittens around my aunt's house, her inability to ever decide if she wants to go in or out (particularly in the middle of January when you really don't want to stand with the door open), and her sweet brown eyes that draw you in to giving her one more treat (even when you know she has already scammed everyone else in the room and licked the dishes to boot!). Sassy certainly made every family get together an event and, while we certainly complained about her boundless energy sometimes, there isn't anything I would give to see her tail wagging and have her chase us around the yard once more.
Sassy had been having a hard time walking around, and was really favoring her one paw when my Aunt took her to the vet to get it looked at. The news was grim, Sass-a-frass had bone cancer, and there wasn't much that could be done except to keep her comfortable in her final days. She can't use her one paw at all anymore, and she was pretty shaky moving around today but even that didn't stop her from getting up from her spot in the yard to come meet us when we came over. From what I've heard this past week has been filled with peanut butter sandwiches and ice cream cones from McDonald's (I know I slipped her a piece of bacon when we were visiting today).
As sad as I am to know she is going to be put to sleep (and trust me I cried most of the way home) I know deep down that it is for the best. And you have to take pause at a moment like this to remember to put your life in perspective. As sad as we are to see her go we know that she had a great life and was absolutely cherished by her family.
So as I sit with my family tonight and remember all the good times we shared with Sassy I challenge you to embrace the good that can be found in your life (I don't care how stressed or miserable you think you are). Hug your parents, send a note to your friends, give your pet a belly rub. Just take a moment to be in the present and enjoy your life for all the good that you have in it.
Not that you should need any further inspiration, but in case you do the latest song from Taylor Swift, in collaboration with the family of Ronan Thompson, should leave no doubt that you have to embrace the life you are living now and never let it go (there is a real tissue warning on this video).