On the Eve of the Winter Solstice

Yes, my blog this week is a day late. And there is one very important reason for that.

Yesterday, we had to say goodbye to our old friend Ruby. Ruby was our 14-year-old Irish terrier who spent her life in our house, watched our kids grow into amazing adults, stood by us when we each lost our fathers, welcomed our granddaughter, took our second dog Truffles under her wing, and paced the floor around 5:30 every morning in her old age.

It was a bittersweet day, as any pet owner will know. Ruby told us she was done by refusing to eat and drink over the weekend. She was tired. She had lived long enough.

And so we did what we needed to do: took her to our vet, whom she loved, and helped her leave us.

Ruby the Irish terrier

Even though I had to get a box of Kleenex to keep in my office yesterday, today I am thinking about how Ruby made us better people by forcing us to slow down once in a while. She had a way of backing up to us wherever we were sitting so that we could pause and pet her. She was good at being insistent. Pay attention, she seemed to say.

Dogs are good at that.

As we move on to the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the New Year, taking a moment to pay attention to whatever is there in front of us might be a really nice idea. Turn off the news, put away the screens, and pause.

Happy Holidays, everyone. One Minnesota Writer will return in January 2017.

happy holidays from one minnesota writer


  1. I’m so sorry for your loss and so close to the holidays too. I still think of the cat I lost last year every time I walk past my Christmas tree because it was her favorite spot to hide and sleep at this time of year. I just wrote a blog post about how much my two dogs teach me to be present, especially when things are routine and I’m just rushing through life. I’ve lost several pets over the years and keep wondering why I repeatedly put myself through that pain by taking in more animals from the shelters. But I can’t imagine who else would do the job of forcing me to wake up when I’m not paying attention.


  2. Sorry for your family’s loss of Ruby, but grateful you and she had each other for a time that was precious to all. Take care and happy new year to you and yours, Kathleen. xoA


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