On Tuesday 9/18/18, we buried “Nug the Pug.” She was only 9 years old. Surreal and surprisingly painful, I miss her terribly. In fact, in a text to a daughter who checked on Dad, I responded, “I can’t find Nugget anywhere, but I see her everywhere.” ?
It does not say give thanks FOR all things, but to give thanks IN all things. We aren’t glad Nug left us so young, but I can find 5 blessings to be thankful for in her passing if I choose to—and I do.
1. Nug wasn’t human. Yes, we loved her and she was family, but far more important are our 7 kids, their spouses, and 10 grandchildren, who are alive and well. I’ve lost a human—my 51-yr-old mom when I was 17—so like many of you, I know that level of pain. If you’ve read Flipping the Switch, you know that story.
2. Nug gave us <mostly> joy for 9 years. I say “mostly” because she sure had some irritating behaviors (don’t we all?!), but she brought silly and goofy fun to our home. If Pugs had a tagline, it’d be “I’m so homely I’m cute.” Her face alone brought us joy.
3. We acted swiftly, minimizing Nug’s suffering. Everyone handles these situations differently, but ending her pain was paramount. I’m thankful no “paralysis by analysis” took root here.
4. Dr. Sam Grossberg of Pets R Us vet. He didn’t sell us $225 X-rays, a $495 ultrasound, and/or a bunch of blood tests just to confirm what we knew from a $175 biopsy: malignant mast cell tumor. Cancer. When I’m making emotionally difficult decisions, I don’t need an expert to battle me, I need him to guide me. “Dr. G” did.
5. Karen, my wife. She’s a deep feeler while I am the logical one. Yet when Karen, a former oncology RN, heard the diagnosis, we jointly chose the pragmatic option. This was better for Nug—and for our 38-year marriage.