If there's one thing Heather's passing has taught me, it is that each of us grieves differently. For me, that grief ebbs and flows but the one constant - other than that pain running deep - is my desire to "do right" by Heather and my memory of her. I couldn't save her but that doesn't mean I can't do my part to save others like her. And while this Scottie House won't be taking in any additional rescue dogs for some time, that hasn't stopped me from working on passion projects to help pay forward all the love and happiness sweet Heather Beather brought to my life (and yours!).
|Heather, sniffing a blueberry muffin. Photo copyright Leesia Teh Photography|
With what would have been Heather's 12th birthday fast approaching, I knew I had to do something special, something positive. I thought of our last days together and the one thing she enjoyed quite literally until the very end: blueberry muffins. The last thing she tasted moments before she left this Earth. Words cannot describe how excited she was any time she knew she was to receive one, how her eyes lit up when she saw one and how quickly these special treats disappeared once one finally made it to her bowl. I thought of that sheer joy she clearly experienced and knowing blueberry muffins are a favorite with the rest of the Scottie crew, too, I knew what I had to do.
I dug out a dog treat recipe book, which has gotten embarrassingly little use since I purchased it several years ago, and set to work baking dozens of blueberry muffins. I contacted Lifeline Animal Project, a nonprofit organization here in Atlanta, Ga. working to end the euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats in area shelters (with amazing success, I must say!). I asked if I could stop by to share these special treats with the pups still searching for their forever homes. Of course, they graciously accepted and I delivered six dozen homemade blueberry muffins to one of their shelters.
|Mr. K showing off the blueberry muffins made in his late BFF's honor.|
My hope was that every rescue dog waiting for a forever home at Lifeline Animal Project would have a sweet treat before Halloween - easily Heather's favorite holiday and for obvious reasons! Sadly, the six dozen blueberry muffins were only enough to feed the rescue dogs housed at this particular location. There are nearly 600 others within the Lifeline system waiting for a special treat (and forever homes!) so I'm collecting store-bought treats in hopes the remaining rescue dogs get a treat or two this Halloween. I might attempt to whip up a few dozen more of the blueberry muffins, too.
While seeing so many furry friends needing homes is certainly heartbreaking, I felt a small part of me starting to heal the moment I dropped off the blueberry muffins. Heather may not need my help any longer, but there are plenty of others that still do. And while I can't change the past and there is nothing that will bring sweet Heather Beather back, I can help change the future for animals in need. And it starts with one small act of kindness. Or in this case, a basket full of blueberry muffins.