“And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”
I found these words in an assortment of quotes and they have been following me around for weeks. I participate in a weekly project called Illustration Friday for which on every Friday a different theme is selected for illustrators and artists of all mediums and levels to express their interpretation. This week’s theme is separated. There was always a strong loving bond between my little Dexter dog and me since the very first time that we met. He came home to be the family pet and although he was “at home” with everyone in the family, it became clear that I was his selected “one”. I adored his sweetness, his playful nature, his obedience regarding most things; he was a good all round faithful companion. Over the years the family dynamic changed with my son moving off on his own, my grandson’s arrival and my eventual move to a loft so my daughter could raise her son in the townhouse as a single mom while completing her University education. Dexter adapted and became even more attached to me; as did I to him. When I was employed at the Thoroughbred horse farm he often joined me for the day’s work. To see us moving about the farm, he always a couple of inches behind my heel, we appeared inseparable. When his health started to wane the idea of putting him down broke my heart to think about. But, I was beginning to realize that it would be inevitable as his quality of life was deteriorating…I could see pain in his eyes. I had just come home from work, cuddled him very gently and like a trooper he hopped down from the sofa to head for his food dish as usual. And that was it…he staggered, fell, stretched out his neck over his arched back and died. I had known that I loved him but at that very moment, when we were separated, I came to know the depth of that love. It was all consuming, free, giving, taking, caring, sharing and pervasive to the very core of me. And, although he has been gone for seven years, the depth of my love for him is still with me; his parting gift.