IN MEMORIAM: LOTTE
When I started making collars back in 2011, one of my very first customers was a woman who had recently adopted a new puppy. I'm not sure how it came up but she explained that her older dog had passed, and that the puppy was her attempt to move forward. Upon reading this news I sat and thought for a while before responding. I didn't want to say the obvious things - I'm so sorry, that must be terrible, etc - I wanted to have something to say that would be helpful somehow. My own dog was just a puppy at the time, and the thought of him one day leaving this earth while I'm still on it made the world melt around me. A question that runs through my mind so often is: how do we properly honor the death of an animal? In speech, in photos, in tattoos? How can we begin to memorialize those who give so much?
What I ended up writing back to the woman I still believe today: the reason we live so much longer than our animals is so that we can help lots of them in our lifetimes. It's hard to image how crowded the shelters would be if animals lived as long as we do. So to that end, with one passing comes another rescued.
Hanging on that positive note, we bid farewell to Lotte - the little doxie x jack russell we all came to know and love via her Instagram handle @allaboutlotte. Lotte was a definitive ray of sunshine, always game for whatever fun props her mama, Grace Elizabeth had for her to wear and pose with (and sometimes even eat!). When I was going through the catalog of her photos I started to get really sad. Sad that I'll never get to meet this little dog who brought so much joy to my life and to others. But at the same time a profound sense of gratitude - to Lotte for her life, and gratitude to Grace for making her a part of our lives. It's moments like these where I cast away my ambivalence surrounding social media and decide: yes, it IS a good thing! Because without it we wouldn't have known Lotte. And because I don't feel like words can do her any more justice, here's Lotte, as ready as ever for this: she lived a full life.