Last Friday (February 24th), I said goodbye to my Sammy Jammy. He was at 14 years old and had been declining from kidney failure for the past few years. Sammy came into my life on March 2, 2000 from an animal control shelter in Michigan. We truly chose each other. I gave him a loving home filled with everything he wished for; he was my heart and forever will be. He passed one week shy of our 12th anniversary. I will still honor him on our anniversary. Sammy was my talker who always greeted me with a “monroe” or “mwow”, and he always wanted to burrow into my lap. When he was happy, his nose dripped and he cooed like a dove; and when we cuddled, he would bury his head into me.

As his inevitable death was nearing the past 6 months, I spent a lot of quality time sitting with him, reading, meditating, and watching movies (he particularly liked Harry Potter movies). Despite the demands of my work and many projects, I put much on hold in order to be with Sammy and I’m grateful that I did.  I did not expect him to live to Christmas, but he seemed determined to hang on.

Although I am coping with his loss (as are his cat siblings Oscar and Lucy), I am taking comfort in the countless lessons that I learned from Sammy.  Pets teach us so much if we simply take the time to listen and learn. Pets teach us kindness, compassion, generosity, and love. I truly believe that Sammy held on longer than expected because he had lessons to teach me (and he needed to make sure those lessons stayed with me).

What were those lessons?

The lessons that Sammy taught me are countless and have left pawprints on my heart. I hope that I will do him proud by practicing what he taught me for the rest of my life. I share his teachings with you because they are important for all human beings to slow down, be present and enjoy this life we have been given.

You taught me well Sammy. Rest in Peace my little angel.

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