Memorialize a Dog
Spring is a time of celebration and remembrance. Along with celebrating Scout’s birthday near the end of March and mine in April, we remember two of our other favorite Aries dogs: Tuxedo and Domino. Tuxedo is the inspiration for the pet memorial garden gradually coming to life at Wynley Park.
My "it dog", “the one”, "boo", “soulmate” – all words to describe my connection with my dog, Tuxedo. Dalmatians are a funny breed; you either don’t much care for them or you are obsessed with them. Maybe this is how every dog-person feels about their favorite breed. All I know is that I have been obsessed with Dalmatians ever since my first one, Tessa.
When I started searching for my second dali, I searched, seeing thirteen puppies in one weekend. “About the parents,” I would ask “do they smile?” Right away I knew by the look on one breeder’s face that he had seen a Dalmatian smile. His eyes lit up as he said “come meet the pups’ dad”. Sure enough, Tux smiled just like his sire, only never for a camera.
His registered name was Tuxedo's Asset, after Tessa, and he became more than I could have imagined. In a city far away from family, he was my family. I could (and did) change jobs, boyfriends, apartments...but Tuxedo remained my one constant. Love. I never grew tired of seeing him smile, taking him running, or being awakened by him in the middle of the night because he was cold and needed under the covers. To this day, a snoring dog is my favorite sound. Tux was my miracle dog. He was afraid of nothing and with him around, I learned to be less afraid too.
God Holds Each of Us
Tux and I often went running on a quiet, rarely-traveled country road, close to the home of a friend. One day, a car came out of nowhere. Tuxedo was hit. I screamed. The car kept going, seemingly unaware of the devastation it left behind.
Tux was thrown across the road and into a knee-high hay field. I walked every bit of that field, searching and calling, certain he lay dead or dying and determined not to let him leave this world alone. When it got too dark to see, I sat on the nearest dirt road and prayed harder than I ever had for a pet.
A month later, Charley and I moved to Wynley Park. The day was a bittersweet celebration. We’d waited so long to find our place in the country. We were finally home, but without Tuxedo. Our caravan pulled up and parked close to the front door. Just as Charley & I, 2 dogs, 1 cat and the movers started up the front steps, we were enveloped in a cloud of dragonflies. Seemed like hundreds of them, like Tuxedo was there, celebrating with us. Some might call this a swarm…sure, a swarm of God winks. I decided then that I would create a pet memorial garden where I could scatter Tuxedo’s ashes, where I could sit quietly with nature, remembering us, and where he could send me dragonflies.
Inspiration for Wynley Park’s memorial garden was born that day. Since moving here, we’ve seen dragonflies each year. Different colors at times, but always having black spots on their wings. Always reminding me of my favorite spotted dog.
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If you're looking for a way to honor or memorialize a special dog, let artist Alyson Whitney create a beautiful custom box for you https://alysonwhitney.com/
She created this using photos of Tuxedo.