It's taken me a week to even attempt to write this post. My heart and my mind have struggled to find words that would even come close to describing the relationship I had with my dearest Treasure for the past eight years. I'm not sure I will ever find the right words.
I've been blessed to share my life with a dog that has touched so many from all around the world. I am sure I do not even know how far her legacy has reached. She has followers and fans all over the world. She has helped countless dogs to find new homes and to be able to stay in their homes. She has changed lives that I may never even be aware of.
And so, I want to share with each of you the magic and the legacy of Treasure. I will share with you over time and many posts, about who she was and who she continues to be. You will laugh with us and cry with us. I hope you will come along and celebrate Treasure's life with us.
This all happened very suddenly. One day Treasure had a heart attack, and although she appeared to recover, she was quickly diagnosed with heart and kidney failure. What does one do with a diagnosis like that?
I did what we all would do - I focused on how to make it all better for my precious girl. We worked with the veterinary team to do all we could to reduce Treasure's symptoms. I knew that her time (at age 12) was limited, but I didn't know whether I would have her for another hour, or another couple of years. My initial fear caused me to try to focus on packing every minute full of things to do with her - a bucket list so to speak.
I quickly realized, though, that focusing on a bucket list was causing me to focus on Treasure's death. The death that I knew was going to come one day. I didn't want to focus on her death, so I decided instead to write a Celebration List. Together we created a list of all the little things that we loved to do together every day. And then I focused on celebrating all of those moments with Treasure every day, for however long we had left together.
This shifted my focus from the fear of wondering when I was going to lose her to gratitude for every moment we had together. This shift allowed me to have some wonderful last days with my friend full of love and remembering and celebrating each memory we had created together.
Treasure is the reason I started this blog. When I adopted her, so many people misunderstood her as a blind and deaf dog. They expected her to be miserable and helpless. I wanted to show and inspire everyone that she wasn't like that at all. I knew that if so many people thought this way, surely there were many more. This limited thinking would surely prevent blind and deaf dogs from being adopted, so we set out to change hearts and minds.
The White Dog Blog has become a go-to resource for all things related to double merles and blind/deaf dogs. This is all thanks to Treasure coming into my life. We expanded the blog and wrote a book about teaching and living with dogs that are both blind and deaf, and it continues to be the only one of its kind. Again, this would not have happened without Treasure's inspiration.
Treasure paved the way for many blind/deaf dogs to be adopted, and to show just what they are capable of! She loved to learn new things! She loved nosework and learning tricks. She was the first blind and deaf dog to earn trick dog titles!
What an amazing therapy and READ program dog she was! She was a superb cuddler and when people held her, she surrounded them with a gentle and radiant love, which they felt and commented on every time. Her patience with children allowed her to teach them that it wasn't scary to be different ... or to be friends with someone who is different.
I cannot even begin to count the stories of lives she has touched and changed for the better. Many of those stories are shared here in this blog. I hope if you are a more recent follower of the blog that you will go back and visit some of the older posts to see some of these stories.
My dear Treasure passed away a week ago, after blessing me with an amazing week full of special Celebration memories. She is greatly missed. As she left me, she surrounded me with that gentle and radiant love, which continues to sustain me and bring me comfort.