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A life wish

A life wish

“I think I have to write about death,” I said.

To this, my friend replied with silence.

“Have you ever lost a pet?” I asked.

“I’d rather not talk about it,” said my friend, gently and apologetically.

This is the way in which he chose to engage in life in that moment. With fear.

I recently spent time with a well-traveled woman who had just spent 60 days in Zimbabwe – she was completely off the grid for 30 of those days. Her friends and family had no idea if she was alive or dead, for 30 heart-wrenching days. She spoke to me of her love of the country, of her plans to return and help, however she could.

“People have said that I have a death wish,” she told me. “But it’s a life wish.”

A life wish!

That, I am convinced, is what people who come to Muttville have. A life wish. People who adopt Muttville dogs talk about the dogs they’ve lost, they dogs they still have, and the dogs they will have (loved, love, will love). We do not live in fear. We engage in life.

If you have adopted from Muttville, you know this about yourself: You have a life wish. Pat yourself on the back. Thank you for coming to Muttville.

AliG | 05.13.10

Well said Ali, this weekend we said goodbye to 2 of our wonderful Muttville dogs that had been adopted. These dogs were blessed with such loving and gracious big hearted humans that loved them till the time came to say good-bye.
I always feel it is an honor to share my life with those people and the dogs that love them.
Sweet sailing Walter and Lil Bit…...

sherri | 05.13.10 06:53pm

Ali, you write so beautifully! This one really got me. You put into words exactly what I feel. What a blessing it is to share a day or a week or a month or a year with a wonderful animal. To help that day be the best day they can live, no matter how many days they have. It IS about life and love and joy. To know that JoJo enjoyed his short time with us was pure joy, even though the goodbye was sad. And to see funny Emo play and have fun and Tweety (Boston) snuggle with her dad on the couch is as beautiful and perfect as it can possibly be, for whatever time we have together. It cannot get much better than that! And they give back what they get so many times over! How could I have missed even a moment of that?

May we all have Life Wishes and Blessings!

Love to Muttville and all who engage with loving a Senior!

Julie | 05.14.10 06:53am


I love this; it is brilliant, inspiring and wonderfully written.
I’ve already told three people to check this site to read it.

Barbara with Izzy (a golden oldie from Muttville) and Piper (an older dog from Oakland SPCA)

BE | 05.14.10 06:53pm


Thank you so much for that post. To see my Walter’s face, to know that we had such a beautiful life wish for him – and for ourselves. To know that he lived every day of his life with us with a wish for nothing more than snuggles, a nap, and as many Buddy Biscuits as we’d give him!

It hurts. Unbearably. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There were those I told of his passing who told me that I’d signed-on for this grief when I adopted an older dog. Sure, they’re right (though I don’t know that I appreciated their words!). However, I will sign-on for that pain over and over again because it is just a small fraction of the utter joy he brought to us. Not a death wish, a life wish. Not anticipating the grief but basking in the sweet joy.

There are still no words adequate. Nothing to express how wholly, how purely I loved that little guy. Not even one year, not even long enough to celebrate his birthday, yet I find myself celebrating every memory of every day he brought to us.

I was blessed to hold him each and every day he was in our home and I held him tearfully, sorrowfully, and just as willingly in those final moments. I pray deeply that he knows of this love still. I think he does. I think he’s sending me back that love, as I find a piece of his fur clinging to my black work pants, a biscuit on the floor that he didn’t manage to get every crumb of, and even as I keep my eyes open for the next one to warm my sofa. He wants me to be happy and he knows how hard we will try to make every Mutt just as happy.

Thank you, Ali. Thank you Sherri and Muttville. Thank you Jason, my husband, for getting through this painful week with me.

Thank you, Walter.


MelissaQ | 05.17.10 01:19pm

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