Personal Journey

Another Heart Melted by Abbott

I had to repost this from my dear friend, Nancy Beach, who blogs at filledtoempty.com. She’s an amazing writer, and she brings joy to everyone she meets. I remember the day she and Abbott met, the day she decided to hang out in my family room with a sharp-toothed animal that scared the lights out of her. In the end, Abbott wins everyone over. I wasn’t at all surprised at how Nancy took to him. 🙂

Lessons From a Dog

The first blog post I ever wrote was six years ago on facing my fear of dogs. Since that day I’ve written hundreds of posts and faced many fears. I’m thankful for a sweet German Shepherd mix who showed me that rather than running from things that look big and scary, take a chance. Here is a second post I wrote six months after the first. Abbott, it turns out is one of the sweetest, gentleness dogs I know. For the last five years, I’ve walked into his house without a thought of fear.

Yesterday Abbott lost his battle to lymphoma. My heart hurts for my friend and her family. Abbott taught me it was safe to not be content with fear, but push past it. I’m a better person as a result. In the years since my first post, I’ve learned that people are like dogs. Some are mean. But most are kind and loving.  I’ve shown up afraid, over and over. Somewhere in the process, I’ve learned to love and be loved. I still get afraid. But I do it afraid. And I’ve never regretted it.

When my daughter moved out she left behind word art above her bedroom door that says “Be Brave”. I want to be brave. To be honest about what I’m afraid of. And then to look that fear in the face and say, “Not anymore. You don’t win. Not this time.” I wish I didn’t struggle with anxiety. That it was a distant part of my past. But I celebrate my victories. So, I show up and face the things I’m afraid of today. And I do it over and over. Because the rewards always outweigh the risks. Thank you, Abbott, for teaching me it’s worth the risks, and that there are good dogs in the world.

9 thoughts on “Another Heart Melted by Abbott”

  1. I’m going to reply on my own blog to say how much these words mean to me!! I bawled at them, as I have over so many of my friends’ words about Abbott. Thank you, Nancy.

    1. Yes…the pics did get me. I wasn’t brave. When I read Nancy’s post I cried. I still remember the day she and Abbott became friends. So much time has passed, and it seems to have been a blink.

  2. Weeping with those who weep, even today. There is no shame in tears shed for those who are loved by us, those moments in life that touch our hearts so deeply enough to pierce the floodgates of our very souls. The true beauty in the gift of tears is this: that the Heavenly Father uses them to water our lives for eventual renewal following our darker seasons. Blessings!

    1. Sherry! You need to write more. Your words are beautiful and eloquent. They are a reflection of you. Thank you for thinking of me today. Every time I come in the door or walk down the steps, the quiet (the no Abbott standing or lying there, wagging his tail) is painful.

      1. My heartfelt prayers are lifted for you today. Thank you for your kind words; even in the midst of your own grief and pain your sweet spirit still reaches out to others to give encouragement. What a testament to the beautiful vessel you are! I pray you are comforted as your readers rally around you here in the comments to offer silent lament and support to mitigate the lonely steps in your house.

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