I read this post on Facebook that a friend had shared that ruminated with me at a time when I was feeling rather low. “Replaying a painful memory over and over in your head is a form of self abuse. Toxic thoughts, create a toxic body. So make peace with yourself and your past. Heal your thoughts and you heal yourself.” (by Jerose) Yesterday, I was looking through photo albums for a few pictures for project I am working on, and stumbled across a section with our puppy Maggie. A subject I have a lot of trouble talking about, and brings me to tears just thinking about. We adopted her shortly after the loss of one of our dogs. We didn’t think about what breed she was or the temperament that came with her or our lack of experience raising a puppy (as our first dog as a married couple came from my parents home with me, so the hard part was done). All we knew, was she was cute and we were looking for a way to lift our spirits. After a few short months we realized we were in over our heads and it wasn’t good. Maggie, had been poorly treated in her first home and had some issues, my spouse and I were used to a Sheltie and what worked with her, wasn’t going to cut it. I had two small kids, I was doing daycare in my home and my now 7 month old puppy was biting. I believe she must have had a bad experience with men, as her aggression towards my spouse began to spiral out of control to the point where she wouldn’t let him get into bed at night. I went out for a bike ride with a group of my girl friends one night and came home to my spouse, arm bandaged and Maggie out on the back patio. He was trying to get her to go out for a pee as it had been awhile, and she bit him. I spent days calling trying to get help from different organizations and consulted with our Vet and the end result was, he said she needed to be euthanized. That week I was flying East as a family member was dying, my spouse was the only one at home and taking care of Maggie wasn’t an option, no one would take her and finally I acquiesced and put her down. Yesterday, looking at the pictures of her laying in the back yard stretched out on the grass and others of her on the couch sleeping, I felt a pain that was excruciating. Two decades later, and the guilt and sadness I feel is agonizing. I was thinking if I knew then, what I know now, if I could go back in time and have a do over, but hind sight is twenty-twenty. The worse part is my decisions and actions lead to her demise, and there is no changing that outcome. All I can do now, is hope to do better and be more aware when choosing a new family member to become part of our household. I don’t know if I will ever successfully be at peace with the past, seeing those pictures reminded me though, that there were good times, that we did love her and that keeping her in my heart and sharing love with the four legged creatures that are part of my life now is the one way I can try and heal.