Tillie, my dog, has cancer. A second lump was successfully removed yesterday. At 13, she is slowing down and letting us know her time with us is growing shorter. When she came to me, she was a bundle of fur, terrified of everything including eating out of a bowl. Our first walks were Tillie taking one step then diving into the bushes, followed by, me calmly pulling her out, and encouraging our next step together.  Frighten to eating from a bowl, for the first few years we fed her off the floor so she could feel safer and develop confidence. It took time and care to help her heal from whatever caused to be terrified of a bowl. She eats out of a raised dish now.

We shared a joy of running, hiking, snow shoeing and being outside. She awoke every morning smiling. On walks, she loved taking long sniffs at flowers seemingly enjoying their fragrances. She has taught so much: 1) Love and kindness can heal even the worst wounds; 2) Being present and embracing life is aliveness and allows creativity to flourish; 3) Play and laughter energizes us; 4) Giving, allowing and receiving affection nurtures our souls and feeds contentment; 5) Being someone's friend, feeling a sense of belonging and meaning in one's life is essential to our well-being.