Shaddup Already!


Oh no. . .

. . .not another learning experience!

This is one of my favorite bumper stickers. When I bought it I was thinking along the lines of doing something really stupid and learning from it. The most important learning experiences are usually the most painful.

That is true of the one I'm going through now. Although this one was no mistake. Giving up Miss Cami is going to be one of the most painful, rewarding, confusing, proud moments of my life. It will take place in one week from tomorrow.

I was talking to a coworker today about the sadness I'm feeling and will continue to feel for a while. I mentioned that I would be taking a day or two off from work so I could cry.

T: Why did you do this? You knew you were getting into this painful situation?

Me: I'm not afraid of the hurt. And it has been so worth any pain.

T: I'm really glad you answered that way. I really am. You know, love like you've never been hurt. In order to live you really have to allow in some pain.

Yeah, that's what I meant. Seriously, that comment really made me think and feel better about the situation. It's just the perspective I needed to face my 5th period class. They are lower income, lower level learners. They tend to have the philosophy of "If you want something, make sure you get it." Unfortunately, they don't really understand the idea of giving because it's the right thing to do.

I have been telling all my classes about Cami leaving and allowing them to write notes, if they choose. This class started telling me that I should run away with Cami. Then they started (loudly) avowing that they wouldn't ever let anyone take THEIR dog.

I tried to explain how Cami was never my dog. I told them of the things she would do for someone someday soon. I tried to make them feel some empathy.

I finally told them that I wouldn't ever run away with Cami because it wouldn't be morally right. I signed up for something, I knew what I was getting in to and now I'm willing to follow through.

I told them how much I love her and that love is what is allowing me to let her go. She has a higher destiny than just hanging out with me and Atticus.

I let them know that I treated and felt as though she was my forever dog, but I knew she wasn't. I never forgot that she needs to go on and do the work she was bred for.

I told them how proud Cami has already made me and how very proud I will be when Cami is turned over to her new partner.

Cami is such a special dog. She reminded me that loving something is worth all the pain. She let me know that even though Destiny left a big hole in my heart, my heart wasn't beyond repair. She allowed me to consider opening my home to another forever dog, which brought me my little clown, Atticus. She has reminded me daily that the sun is shining on someone and I should appreciate all I have. She showed me that optimism is always the way to go because, the next time you hear the ice machine, you just might get a piece.

She has reminded me that life isn't all about me and reaching outside myself results in more satisfaction than just working for me. She has taught me that giving till it hurts is a wonderful way to fill your heart, open your mind and expand your world.

Imagine all of that from a dog with gorgeous, golden fur and thoughtful brown eyes.

Oh yes, it's another learning experience!

Thank you, my little Cam-cam dancer.

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