Floating Dogs and Funeral Parlors

Mar 9, 2020

Floating dogs and funeral parlors have nothing to do with each other but as I sat writing my morning’s journal entry this title came to mind. One brief news item was about two dogs that got themselves trapped on a chunk of ice. It was thought they would perish but the news this morning was that Heidi and her companion (forget the other dog’s name) floated a fair distance and made it to shore. Someone retrieved them and all is good.A story to tell with a happy ending for the dog owners. We have such a story in our family and it often gets retold. One January morning our old dog Tanner and Caleb and Ashlie’s dog Disco took off for some reason, running a few miles through the woods and out onto the Saint John river.They made it all the way across the frozen river without encountering open water or thin ice. They kept going when they reached the other side and ended up outside the Browns Flat Irving. A woman stopped her car and tried to coax them in. Disco accepted the invitation but Tanner declined running away from her. We spent a night worrying, sure our beloved dogs had met their end. Ashlie began the next morning calling every vet and the Animal rescue League.In the meantime Tanner got his weary self home, limping in around 10:30 the next morning with no explanation for his whereabouts or where his buddy was. Ashlie’s calls paid off and a bit later she got a call from the woman who had picked Disco up. He had spent a warm, cosy night well fed and watered in the woman’s kitchen. Ashlie and Mary headed over to Browns Flat to get him and all was well. Makes a good story as does two dogs floating away on a sheet of ice. Happy endings. The other aspect of my entry this morning has to do with endings as well.In our society we have practices and rituals when a life ends, as does every culture and society since time began. Funeral parlors and funeral directors play a part in families finding their way through death and loss. This morning my daughter begins a career in the funeral parlor business. It is a business but more than that it is a service and a caring assist with the transition from this world to whatever the next is. Meg has already begun her studies and today she steps into the front line funeral business. Not a career for everyone but for the right person a valuable offering and a blessing. I remember Brock and Barbra Reid and the wonderful service and comfort they provided us. I remember Lethe and Natasha and how kind and caring they were. I have seen my best friends daughter take this career path and glow with the pride and the reward of her work. I am so proud of Meg and wish her all the best on this, her first day on the job. I hope for a long and successful work life in her chosen field as she reaches out to those taking the difficult journey of letting a loved one go.


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