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Grace my dog provides inspiration

Saying Good-Bye: My eternal walk with Grace

This is a post that I always knew I’d need to write, but I have long dreaded the time when I would have to announce the loss of my treasured companion and friend. Grace and I started our journey together in June of 2005 when she was about eight months old. On August 28, 2019, just shy of turning 15, my husband and I said good-bye to her. It was peaceful, yet overflowing with emotion, feeling gratitude for the many years of a fulfilling relationship in equal measure to the raw sadness of losing her.

A significant impact

Grace made a significant impact on my life, personally and professionally. Timid and guarded by nature, she challenged me in ways that opened my perspective of how to have a mutually beneficial partnership. The lessons she taught me often meant changes for me–and not necessarily ones that I wanted or were easy to make. Yet she persevered with her teachings. And I was determined to learn.

Early on, I saw the parallels in business environments and a friend encouraged me to write about it. Over the years, it has been my privilege and joy to share these stories with you. One of the highlights of her recognition was the segment that aired on NHPR about Grace and how dogs provide leadership lessons. A few personal favorites posts include how we maneuvered through agility classes, our annual roadside clean-up gig, and the importance of taking unexpected paths.

Graceful Leadership is eternal

Grace will forever remain in my heart and she’ll stay present in my new posts for this Graceful Leadership blog. Her work hasn’t ended, as I suspect there are unknown lessons from Grace I have yet to realize. At the same time, her memory reminds me to do so many things, like get outside every day for a long walk (something she insisted on!), turn obstacles into opportunities, and enjoy life even when you have to face your fear.

One day, my husband and I will welcome another dog into our lives, which I believe will make Grace very happy. Animals have tremendous capacity for unconditional devotion and that’s something we humans would do well to follow their lead on.

Grace and I will walk eternally together, loving and learning as we always have. It would be my delight to hear how Grace has impacted you. If you have a favorite lesson or just a general impression, I hope you will share so all of us can benefit from her legacy.


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12 Comments

  1. judyringer on September 20, 2019 at 8:38 am

    Dear Robin — I am so very sorry to learn that Grace has moved on. I guess she taught you as many lessons–in this life anyway–as she could. And, as you say, there will be more. Grace also taught all of us through your writing and experiences. Thank you, Grace, for your teachings.

    • Robin on September 20, 2019 at 8:42 am

      Thank you, Judy, I so appreciate your continued support of me and Grace!

  2. Rhonda on September 20, 2019 at 9:19 am

    With so much time for us to know Grace in your blogs, I knew this time must be coming soon and hoped it was peaceful for both you and Grace. She made such an impact on me in your blogs and I loved seeing pictures of you with her. I am so glad you had such a meaningful relationship with her and shared it with us. I wish you and your husband peace in your memories and am also awaiting the gifts we have yet to learn from Grace.

    • Robin on September 20, 2019 at 12:43 pm

      Such a lovely note, Rhonda, thank you. I can’t tell you how much it makes me smile to hear of how she made an impact on you. I’m glad you are awaiting her yet-to-known gifts. Thank you again so very much.

  3. Carole on September 20, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Hi Robin, I am so sorry to hear of your loss of such a dear friend and companion as Grace was.There are no words to soothe your broken heart, i know. Just know that she will remain in your heart as most special pets do, forever. I am sending prayers and hugs for you , my friend.

    • Robin on September 20, 2019 at 12:44 pm

      Carole, thank you for your thoughts and hugs! So sweet of you to reach out, I miss you!

  4. Lisa Osthelder on September 20, 2019 at 10:12 am

    What a beautiful blog about Grace and how she impacted your lives. You made a significant impact on her life too! She lives on happily in spirit. Wishing you much peace.

    • Robin on September 20, 2019 at 12:45 pm

      Lisa, you were instrumental in our journey and I’m grateful for that and all you did for us. Thank you!

  5. Mary Dziedzinski on September 20, 2019 at 10:19 am

    Robin. I am so sorry for the sadness of the loss of Grace. You were both blessed to have each other for so many years. And though I know each loss takes a piece of us, I also know the heart is always able to expand.
    Mary Dziedzinski

    • Robin on September 20, 2019 at 12:47 pm

      I agree, so lucky to have shared so many years together and I love your point about the heart being able to expand. Right now, it feels empty but I know you are right, it will be full again and more. Thank you, Mary.

  6. Cheryl Dolejs on September 20, 2019 at 10:23 am

    Oh Robin, my heart goes out to you. What a wonderful tribute to Grace. She will always be in your heart and with her memory give you continued inspiration. She was one lucky puppy to have you!

    • Robin on September 20, 2019 at 12:49 pm

      Cheryl, thank you! It is special to hear from you and love what you said about her memory giving me inspiration. It’s so true!

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