I don’t believe much in serendipity but sometimes when situations knock you right in the face, it’s hard to deny them.
This morning on my walk into work, I received an email from my vet wishing our dog Toby a “happy birthday.” Now before you go accusing me of being a terrible pet parent and not knowing my dog’s special day, let me preface this by saying Toby is a rescue dog. We’ve always considered his “birthday” to be the day he found his forever home with us, which is not until June 26. And we are actually planning a big puppy party for him, but I digress…
I mentioned the news to my boyfriend and we agreed to make sure Toby got a yummy dinner and extra love tonight. End of story...or so I thought. Then I got to work and did what I always do every day, I signed on to my computer, checked my email and logged on to Facebook and the other social media pages I run for my job. You know the top right-hand section on Facebook designated to alerting you about friends’ birthdays? Well, there with a tiny little picture of his head was a message that today would have been my dog Trevor’s birthday (I had made him a Facebook page years ago to experiment for work). Cue the face smack. I had never made this connection!
I’ve written about Trevor (and his adventures) in the past for Oy!Chicago, and while he lived with my parents most of the time, he often spent weeks at a time living with me and my boyfriend when they were traveling.
Trevor was truly the greatest dog. He had so much personality packed into his tiny body. He loved nothing more than to play hours of fetch. Literally, the dog never got tired. He also loved nothing more than to snuggle beside you for a good cuddle. He was smart. Really smart. And he had serious anxiety issues. Have you ever had a smart dog that also has anxiety? We’ve had two now. And they always want to know what is going on at all times and they want to be perpetually by your side. Truly man’s best friend-types.
In March of 2012, my parents took a trip and didn’t leave Trevor behind with me. On the plane ride over, Trevor’s collar got caught on his kennel bag (that was since recalled for causing similar tragedies) and he choked to death. Due to all that aforementioned anxiety, he had been sedated for the trip, so he didn’t make a sound. Fortunately, because he was asleep he also didn’t feel any pain.
It was devastating. I still try not to think about what it must have been like for my parents on the rest of that plane ride, but I can tell you that finding out the news right after they landed was one of the hardest events of my life (it still is) and I’ve experienced tragedy.
It took a lot of grieving, but what helped me most was the decision we made last June to rescue our own shelter dog. We needed to find a way to celebrate Trevor’s life by helping another dog and we ended up with our perfect puppy, Toby!
And now I know that Toby and Trevor share the same special day! And since we don’t know Toby’s true age, they potentially could have even been born on the exact same day of the exact same year! Mind blown. What a twist of fate!
Now I’m not saying that I think Toby is somehow the reincarnate of Trevor. But truly, what are the chances that these two special dogs would have been born on the same day?!
I just started reading Life of Pi, which touches on themes of spirituality, God and the natural twists of life. It suddenly seems fitting that I’m reading about a guy who finds God in the strangest of places, while stranded on a raft with a lion named Richard Parker.
Maybe I did today a little too.
And now moving forward when we celebrate Toby’s birthday, we can think about Trevor too and this wonderful connection they share that’s even greater than what we ever originally intended.