“Find the grace in all the things that you can’t change and help somebody if you can.” –Van Zant
Foxy Brown conquered my heart in less than a day. She lured me in with her spirit. When I first met her, she was an overweight, rain-soaked pit bull who was lost. As much as she wanted to come inside, she was trembling with fear. But she held her head high, shaking but strong, unexpectedly determined to follow along by my side from that moment forward even though she didn’t know who I was. But I think somehow she did and she knew I’d love her forever.
When I fell in love with Foxy seven years ago, I didn’t know how much love I had to give. I didn’t know that I’d mold my days around her needs, making sure she went to grandma’s house with her canine crew any time I’d be gone for longer than an hour or two. I didn’t know I’d curl into an uncomfortable ball on the couch or sleep pressed into the wall so our darling 6o-pound bully could be comfortable. Or that I’d talk her constantly and sing to her during every car trip. Or that every day with her would be full of special rituals, whether it was bone-bone Saturday or weekday morning mommy-doggy yoga: she’d sprawl across my mat and I’d try to do yoga around her.
She gave us all of her love too. And then her heart gave out this week at the start of the surgery to save her. We all did everything we could. I know she tried her best to hang on for her wrecked parents. We spent the night we didn’t know was her last on the floor beside her dog bed, getting up with her every 15 minutes and holding her. It was all we could do. And now we have to find a way to let go.
But even though she’s not here, she’s teaching us one last lesson. There is so much love in this world. There is more kindness than you could ever expect. There are just so many people – both people who knew her or those who knew how much she meant to me – who have offered such an incredible amount of compassion and support.
No one can take away the pain or restore the missed sounds of her footsteps in our house, but it helps simply knowing how many people understand. It helps having someone call you out for downplaying that you’re a complete wreck. Because real grace isn’t about elegance, it’s about ceding control of our emotions, letting them ebb and flow, and taking the challenging times like these one moment at a time.