From the Desk of Bradley Bierko

Dear Scott,

Bradley here. I thought it might be a good time to check in and see how you’re doing a few weeks after I left town. For anyone who has not been reading this blog, I’m Scott’s dog. Well, I was until he and Beth asked that horrible veterinarian, Dr. Haims, to euthanize me.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not mad about my death. It was time to go. I just wish it hadn’t been in that guy’s office. I’ve never liked that place or the way they poked and prodded me there. But I digress.

My sense, looking down at you, Scott, from this vantage point, is that you’re still struggling with the grief. Your mood seems flat and sometimes it even looks like despair. That worries me. I don’t want you to hold on to our parting or my cancer as the most important part of our relationship. Though it may sound trite, I think it would be better to focus on the good times. We had lots of those.

But I sense that you are earnest in wanting to move through grief and give it some time. Okay. You’re the owner. Go for it. But can we just take a few moments to review some of those good times? Who said you have to be depressed in order to grieve? I think you can do both. It’s like walking and chewing a bone at the same time.

Let’s talk about Beth and Scott’s Adventure – the most wonderful experience you could have given me in my last year. If we had been home, I would certainly have enjoyed the day-to-day of being a house dog, but you gave me a chance to see a dozen states over a seven-month period. It was never, ever dull. In fact, driving to a new place was always exciting. Thank you for that.

My favorite moment was always when you opened up the back door of the truck and I smelled the scents of a new place, a brand new set of bushes, trees and flowers to explore with my nose. I don’t have the vocabulary to describe it, but the smells in the southern U.S. were so different than the ones in the northeast. Maybe it’s the food or the soil, but I found it absolutely fascinating. Every morning was an opportunity to pee, walk, smell, poop, and meet new dogs from all around the country. Lapdogs and mutts, friendly ones and standoffish boors – it didn’t matter. I found each exciting in its own way.

I like to think that I left my mark wherever we went. While you and Beth met people and improved lifelong friendships I got to pee in as many spots as possible so that other dogs would say, “Bradley was here!” What an adventure!

I can see you’re smiling. It’s okay to grieve and be happy. As you often told people, “one of the hallmarks of adulthood is the ability to have two seemingly contrary emotions at the same time.” You were right. It’s one of the things we dogs understand, too.

Everyone thinks we’re happy when we pups are shaking our tails. And while that’s true – most of the time – it’s as likely that we’re feeling anxious about other dogs, where our next meal is coming from, and those friggin’ veterinarians with the nail clippers, shots, and slippery exam tables. Don’t get me started.

Listen. I know you’re a busy guy and you have to get on with your day. I just wanted to let you know that I’m still here, connected to your heart and plan on being in that place for forever, if you’ll have me.

Now, I’ve got some bushes to inspect.

Love, Bradley

Dog writing a Letter

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