by mike smerklo
Nearly 13 years ago to the day, I was somewhat of a lost soul, living as a bachelor in downtown San Francisco. I was residing alone in a one bedroom apartment in the Marina district in a domicile that both lacked furniture and warmth.
My mother had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer and I was struggling to deal with her mortality. Professionally, my life consisted of 15 hour work days running a small business that regularly flirted with implosion.
And while I had recently met a wonderful woman, I seemed hell bent on doing everything I could to screw to up our precarious relationship.
So, I did what most simply men do – I bought a hunting dog. A beautiful, sweet, crazy chocolate labrador retriever. I named him Miracle.
The name was easy for me because it symbolized exactly what I felt I needed in my life – as in, my life seemed such a mess that only a Miracle could save me. And while I told everyone that I named him after the Disney movie about hockey (I do love that movie) – deep down he and I both knew the truth.
Fast forward to today and one of the toughest days I have had in a long, long time. Today I had to say goodbye to my dear friend of 13 years…today Miracle is on his way to heaven and as far as I am concerned he is on the express elevator to meet his maker.
While filled with grief, I am also filled with gratitude for all the miracles he brought to me – and while highly biased, I am pretty sure he is immediately qualified for the dog hall of fame. He lived a hell of a life and more than delivered on his name…
Of course he couldn’t save my mother from her illness, but over his 13 years on this planet he more than delivered on every other measure….
That relationship I was trying to screw up? Luckily that amazing woman, Abby, married me and has been my wife of 12 years and counting. The small apartment grew into a couple of amazing homes, one in Austin and one in Wyoming. The fledgling business turned into a public company. The lonely guy (me) is now the father of four amazing children.
And while Miracle was never really a great hunting or fishing companion – I think he was too much of a lover – he turned into the best family dog of all times.
Four children have done all those good and bad things kids do to dogs and all he did was return love and kisses.
His greatest gift to me? Well that is pretty easy. My heart and soul are filled with love, gratitude and expansiveness…quite a change from where it was 13 years ago.
So, tonight I bid farewell to my best friend. A true Miracle. Tonight he sleeps with the angels. Me, I will spend some time with Mr Daniels (Jack, that is) remembering him and feeling love and gratitude for all the Miracles in life.
God speed Buddy…your work is done here….and may we all be so lucky to have a few miracles in our life now and then…